Bahraini military forces and vehicles patrolled the streets of Manama, Bahrain’s capitol on Thursday, just hours after security forces overpowered an encampment of of protesters in the middle of the night, resulting in three deaths and more than 200 injuries, as reported by witnesses and confirmed by officials.

Protesters in Bahrain confronted by army

The surge happened in the Pearl Roundabout, a landmark circle in the center of the capitol city, and quickly drew local,  regional and international criticism.

Eyewitness reports talk of blunt force being used on the protesters, with police  firing weapons with pellets and rubber bullets, as well as tear gas to force the protesters out of the camp and the square.

Three people died of their injuries and at least 225 were injured, said Dr. Faisal Ben Yacoub Al Hamar, the health minister, on state television. Two other protesters have died during protest disruptions earlier in the week for which the Bahraini government apologized. Advocates for human rights quickly and severely criticized the security forces.

Bahraini authorities defended their actions in trying to break up the groups of protesters.