Bahraini security forces have fired tear gas at anti-government protesters in the capital Manama as demonstrators vow to continue their protest, witnesses say.
Riot police opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators that tried to reach Bahrain’s Financial Harbor, a key business district.
Bahrainis have been staging protests since mid-February, demanding the resignation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and constitutional reforms to the Sunni-led government.
Inspired by revolutions that toppled the despotic regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahraini protesters also demand free and fair elections as well as the release of political prisoners.
Trying to prevent the protesters from staging rallies near the major business district, Bahraini security forces blocked a key roadway on Sunday.
Police also clashed with protesters and took measures to push them back towards Pearl Square roundabout.
“Riot police once again are using excessive force against protesters,” said. “The protesters closed down one of the highways in response to the attack on peaceful demonstrations on Friday.”
Hundreds of people also rushed to the area to join the protesters.
Helicopters flew over the scene of clashes as ambulances rushed to the district to treat and carry away the wounded.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people in Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf, surrounded the Safriyah Palace to demand an end to the monarchy.
Nurses and doctors remain on stand-by to deal with more casualties as a result of the violence. This is the latest in a wave of anti-government protests against the rule of King Hamad.
The Saturday protest comes a day after police — with the help of pro-government vigilantes — used teargas against mostly Shia, anti-government protesters. Over 700 people were injured as they marched towards the Royal Court in the capital Manama. Agencies