Bahrain police clash with Shia religious marchers - Pakistan Today

Bahrain police clash with Shia religious marchers

Bahraini police clashed with Shia marchers in a religious festival late on Sunday, less than a week after the Gulf kingdom repealed an emergency law that quashed weeks of protests. Residents and leading Shia opposition group Wefaq said police used tear gas, rubber bullets, sound grenades and birdshot to break up marches in several Shia villages around the capital Manama. Some of the gatherings were purely religious, residents said, while others took on a political tone as marchers shouted “Down, down (King) Hamad” and “The people want the fall of the regime.” Residents said several people were wounded in the village of Sitra, and a house had been set ablaze as clashes there continued.
“We condemn this attack, this kind of attack will make the situation even worse,” said Sayyed Hady, of Wefaq. “This event is so, so normal in Bahrain, we’ve been doing it for centuries … the authorities said they won’t attack religious events, but this is what they did.” The unrest comes just two days after the tiny island kingdom’s Formula One Grand Prix was reinstated. Its original March date had been postponed due to widespread protests at the time. In March, Bahrain’s Sunni rulers called in troops from neighbouring Sunni led Gulf Arab countries to quash weeks of protests led mostly by members of its majority Shia population who were demanding democratic reforms. Hardliners had called for a republic.

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