Clashes in Bahrain as US warns citizens of unrest
Clashes erupted in Bahrain between pro-democratic reform protesters and security forces on Friday as the United States warned its citizens against potential further unrest in the small Gulf island, DPA reported.
Clashes took place in several areas, including parts of the capital Manama, leaving several people injured. Security forces arrested some protesters, according to witnesses and police reports.
The biggest rally was organized by the opposition in Aali village, south of Manama. It ended peacefully after thousands of protesters marched waving the flags of Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Jordan along side the Bahraini flags in a sign of solidarity.
A mock Lulu Roundabout, the former site of pro-reform protests in February and March, with symbolic tents was also erected at a near-by square.
Organizers of the rally said democratic reform was the only solution to the country's 10-month-old crisis.
Other protests that were held in several villages, mainly Shiite, saw anti-riot police moving to disperse the crowds using tear gas and rubber bullets, protesters said.
The escalating tension came as the United States issued a travel alert saying their embassy staff in Manama were being restricted in their movement out of security concerns, and urged their citizens to do the same.
Protests demanding political reform and greater freedoms in Sunni-ruled, Shiite majority Bahrain, began on February 14. Government forces carried out a crackdown against them, killing at least 40 people.
An independent commission setup by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to investigate the events of the pro-reform protests and consequences is expected to present its findings by November 23.