Bahrain opposition stages pro-reform mass march
Thousands of Bahrainis marched on the outskirts of the capital Manama on Friday, demanding democratic reforms in the Gulf island kingdom, dpa reported.
The protesters, answering a call from leading Shiite clergyman Isa Qassim, marched 5 kilometers from Duraz, north of Manama, to Maksha village where a day earlier they had ended a week-long sit-in.
"This rally reflects the people's consensus on the political demands and their determination not to leave the streets before their demands are met," Qassim said in a sermon earlier on Friday.
Minor clashes erupted between the police and protesters after they broke away from the main demonstration and attempted to march to Pearl Square, the centre of last year's Shiite-led protests against the kingdom's Sunni Muslim rulers.
Tension on the streets of Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy 5th fleet command, has been mounting since mid-February when the opposition marked the first anniversary of the anti-government demonstrations.
According to the opposition, more than 60 people have been killed since the protests erupted in February 2011.