Thousands of Opposition Protesters Rally in Bahrain
February 15, 2013
by VOA News
Thousands of opposition supporters have jammed a major highway leading to Bahrain's capital, as clashes broke out for a second day at rallies marking the second anniversary of an uprising against the country's Sunni rulers.
Anti-government protesters staged the march Friday on the Boudaya highway that links several Shi'ite-populated areas to the capital, Manama.
The demonstration is part of nationwide protests that began Thursday and have become violent.
Early Friday, a policeman in Manama died after being hit by a homemade explosive, and on Thursday a teenage boy was killed by police gunfire during protests on the outskirts of the capital.
The majority Shi'ite opposition called for the strike to mark the anniversary of the 2011 uprising amid the wave of pro-democracy movements in other Arab countries.
Protesters are demanding democratic reforms in Bahrain and an end to the Sunni monarchy's perceived discrimination against Shi'ites.
Bahrain's government crushed the demonstrations in March 2011, sending security forces to clear a protest encampment in Manama and bringing in troops from neighboring Sunni-led Gulf states to restore order.
Street battles between Bahraini security forces and Shi'ite demonstrators have continued, mostly outside of Manama. At least 55 people have been killed since the uprising began.
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