Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa attends a theatre opening in Manama on November 12, 2012
Thousands of Shiite protesters in Bahrain Saturday demanded a transition government and the removal of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, pictured here in Manama on November 12, 2012, witnesses said. © Mohammed Al-Shaikh - AFP/File
Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa attends a theatre opening in Manama on November 12, 2012
AFP
Last updated: December 22, 2012

Bahraini protesters demand departure of the prime minister

Thousands of Shiite protesters in Bahrain Saturday demanded a transition government and the removal of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been premier since 1974, witnesses said.

They said the demonstrators marched in the village of Diya near the capital Manama, chanting "Resign, Khalifa!" and waving Bahraini flags.

The Shiite opposition in the tiny Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom is led by Al-Wefaq, which wants a government of technocrats to rule in a transition leading to a constitutional monarchy.

Since February last year, Bahrain has been shaken by opposition protests that the authorities accuse of being exploited by Shiite Iran across the Gulf.

At least 80 people have died since the start of the unrest in February 2011, according to the International Federation of Human Rights.

The opposition insists that the premier stand down and that the government be headed by the leader of the elected majority in parliament.

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