Bahrain cops disperse protests on anniversary

Bahrain cops disperse protests on anniversary

Bahraini police dispersed protesters who made several attempts on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of last year’s uprising by marching to the site of the protest that was brutally crushed, witnesses said.

Several protests took off from Shiite villages on the outskirts of Manama, with youth trying to reach the capital's former Pearl Square, where democracy demonstrators camped for a month last year before being forcefully driven out.

Protesters marched from Sanabis, Deih and Jidhafs, which lie few kilometres west of Manama, despite police warning that protests would be dispersed, witnesses said.

“Down with (King) Hamad!” they chanted, referring to the Sunni monarch whose Al-Khalifa has ruled the Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom since the 18th century.

The Coalition of the Youth of February 14th Revolution, a hardline group that operates apart from the political opposition led by Al-Wefaq, declared Tuesday the day to return to the square that was razed after the mid-March crackdown.

“All of us are returning” to the square, read a call for protest posted on its Facebook page, designating 6:40 am (0340 GMT) as the starting time.

The coalition posted footage of youth dressed in white Islamic death shrouds running through some alleys claiming they were heading to the square that is heavily protected by security forces.