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Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Police, opposition protesters clash in Bahrain

AFP , Friday 2 Jan 2015
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Anti-riot police and hundreds of demonstrators keeping up daily protests to demand the release of Bahrain's main Shiite opposition leader clashed on Friday in villages near Manama, witnesses said.

They said an unspecified number of arrests were made and people wounded as police fired buckshot and tear gas to disperse the protests staged after weekly prayers in mosques.

The demonstrators, including women and children, carried portraits of jailed Al-Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman and chanted slogans calling for his release.

Anti-riot police were deployed in force on an avenue which links several Shiite villages to the west of the capital and manned checkpoints on main roads to prevent the protests from spilling over, witnesses said.

It was the sixth straight day of protests since Salman, 49, was arrested on Sunday and charged the next day with seeking to use force to change the regime.

Predominantly Shiite Iran, across the Gulf from Washington's ally Bahrain where the US Fifth Fleet is based, has joined calls for the immediate release of the main opposition leader in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

And the United States has expressed deep concern about Salman's detention, warning it could only inflame the persistent violence that has gripped the kingdom since 2011.

At least 89 people have been killed in clashes with security forces since month-long protests were crushed in 2011 and hundreds arrested and put on trial, human rights groups say.

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