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Bahrain police and protesters clash

Riot police in Bahrain have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse hundreds of anti-government protesters trying to reach a heavily-guarded site which was once the hub of their uprising.

The demonstrators marched towards Pearl Square in the capital, Manama, after a funeral procession for a protester who died in custody. The government said the man died of a blood disease.

An Associated Press photographer said the demonstrators hurled firebombs and rocks at troops about 700 yards from Pearl Square, where crowds gathered in February last year as the Arab Spring-inspired uprising erupted in the Gulf nation.

Bahrain's majority Shiites are seeking greater rights in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet. At least 50 people have died in nearly 20 months of unrest.

Dozens of opposition leaders have been jailed, including human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, whose family said he has now started a hunger strike.

Mr Rajab was temporarily freed from prison this week to attend his mother's funeral, but the leave of absence was cut short after he delivered a speech calling for protests to continue.


From Belfast Telegraph