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Bahrain protests set to resume

The head of Bahrain's main opposition group has said backers will resume street protests in a direct challenge to a government ban on political gatherings.

Sheik Ali Salman, who is head of Al Wefaq, told thousands of supporters that peaceful marches will take place despite an order last month outlawing rallies.

The government decision brought criticism from the US and others, but Bahrain's leaders said it was needed to battle increasing violence.

More than 55 people have died in Bahrain's unrest since February 2011 when majority Shiites revived demands for a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation.

Protest marches have eased for more than a week, as Shiites participate in ceremonies for annual religious commemorations known as Ashoura.

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