Bahraini protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by police
Bahraini protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by police to disperse them in the village of Sanabis near Manama, February 2011. Bahraini security forces on Wednesday fired tear gas to disperse a demonstration by Shiites who were marching towards the centre of the capital, the opposition and witnesses said. © - AFP/File
Bahraini protesters run for cover from tear gas fired by police
AFP
Last updated: December 16, 2011

Bahrain security forces fire tear gas on demonstrators

Bahraini security forces on Wednesday fired tear gas to disperse a demonstration by Shiites who were marching towards the centre of the capital, the opposition and witnesses said.

The protesters -- who numbered in their thousands according to the opposition and 350 according to officials -- were heading to Manama's Pearl Square, epicentre of an anti-government movement.

After setting out from the village of Al-Daih, the protesters marched towards the city centre chanting "We want the regime to fall" and "We are returning to Pearl Square," said a witness who requested anonymity.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators, the witness said.

Mohammed al-Maskati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, told AFP that security forces had also used rubber bullets.

"Many people were affected," Maskati said.

A protester who asked not to be identified said he had been wounded by a rubber bullet, but that he would not go to hospital for fear of being arrested.

In a statement on its Twitter page, the interior ministry said: "About 350 individuals took part in illegal procession on Al-Budaiya road after (Shiite Ashura) rituals in Daih. Police interfered."

Sunni-ruled Bahrain was rocked by Shiite-led democracy protests between mid-February and mid-March, when they were crushed by security forces backed by its Gulf neighbours.

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