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Sunday 30 September 2012

Bahrainis battle police in anti-government protests

Bahrainis battle police in anti-government protests
Published Friday, September 28, 2012

Around one hundred anti-government protesters threw stones and petrol bombs as riot police tried to disperse them with tear gas and stun grenades in Bahrain on Friday, witnesses said, after an earlier demonstration attended by thousands passed peacefully.

At least two protesters were injured in the clashes, the witnesses said, which took place after a march near the capital Manama, which had been called for by main opposition bloc Al-Wefaq and was authorized by the Bahraini authorities.

Bahrain has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests erupted in February 2011 which were brutally put down by the rulers and Saudi troops who were called in to assist with the crackdown.

More than 50 people have been killed in the unrest.

International human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the kingdom for deadly use of force and for its ruthless imprisonment of dissidents.

The small but strategic kingdom is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet which polices the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and some of the east African coastline including Somalia.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)


Bahraini police kill teen during protest

Published Saturday, September 29, 2012

Police killed a 17-year old boy in a village near Bahrain's capital, Manama, Friday night, following a day of anti-government marches across the kingdom.

The interior ministry maintains the police acted in self-defense against attackers wielding Molotov cocktails and iron rods.

But the main opposition group, Al-Wefaq, said the boy, Hussein Nemat, was killed when police fired buckshot into a group of peaceful protesters in the village of Sadad. Skirmishes between demonstrators and police were also reported in Dia and Sahla.

Thousands of people had taken to the streets on Friday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been in office since 1971 and who is widely seen as being hostile to reform.

The kingdom has continued to witness sporadic demonstrations, mostly outside the capital, since the government's violent expulsion of protesters from Manama's Pearl Roundabout in March 2011 and the bulldozing of the iconic sculpture that had come to symbolize the movement.

At least 80 people have been killed and thousands detained since the uprising began, according to media sources and human rights organizations.

The small but strategic kingdom is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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