Over 700 people have been injured as Bahraini police opened fire on anti-government protesters who were heading toward the Royal Court in Manama.
On Friday, Security forces and pro-government vigilantes carrying clubs and swords beat the protesters near the royal complex, injuring 770 people, 107 of whom were hospitalized for serious injuries and problems in breathing.
The violence occurred as protesters marched on the Royal Court en masse amid tight security in the town of Riffa, a residential area where the ruling Al Khalifah family live, a Press TV correspondent quoted the Bahraini Health Ministry as saying.
Roughly 8,000 people marched toward the Royal Court to force the kingdom to respond to the people’s demands.
Thousands of women also joined the protesters to demand an end to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah’s rule.
They also called for the ouster of the government and said they want a new constitution.
But they were suddenly faced by hundreds of pro-government forces — security and civilian — carrying swords, hatchets, metal pieces, cricket instruments, and pieces of wood with nails hammered into them.
Earlier, the government described the rally as a security threat. Manama also warned organizers and participants that they would be held responsible for any unrest.
Government officials have denied the reports that the security forces used live ammunition and that people inhaled tear gas to the point of suffocation.
Riffa is just over 12 miles (20 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Manama, where anti-government demonstrators have been protesting in Pearl Square since February 14. Agencies