(AP) - An official of a pro-al-Qaida group says Bahrainis opposed to opening an embassy in Baghdad carried posters of Osama Bin Laden, burned American flags and chopped off the head of a U.S. soldier's effigy at a demonstration.
At least 80 Bahrainis protested in the capital Manama on Saturday, waving banners for militant groups fighting in Iraq, including al-Qaida.
Abdullah Hashem, spokesman of the Sunni hard-line movement al-Adalah which led the demonstration, called on Bahraini authorities not to reopen an embassy in Baghdad. He claimed Iraq is not a sovereign country yet because it is under U.S. occupation.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have stepped up pressure recently on Arab countries to commit to opening embassies in Baghdad.
Sunni militant groups such al-Qaida in Iraq, mistrustful of the country's Shiite government, have warned Arab states not to open embassies in Baghdad.
The capital's first major car bomb of the war struck the Jordanian Embassy, killing 19 people. Diplomats from Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have all been either killed, wounded or kidnapped in Iraq.