Bahrain protesters block parliament

The demonstrations appear part of a strategy to hold rallies at sensitive locations in the capital Manama while maintaining a round-the-clock protest base in a landmark square in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

The parliament became a target to coincide with a meeting called by the 40-member upper chamber, which is appointed by Bahrain’s ruler. The session was delayed by several hours when protesters formed a human chain around the entrance.

From parliament, the marchers then moved to the state TV headquarters, chanting slogans that claim the reports on the unrest seek to widen rifts between the Shiite-led protesters and the Sunni dynasty that has ruled Bahrain for more than two centuries.

Shiites, who account for about 70 per cent of the country’s 525,000 people, have long complained of discrimination and other abuses by the Sunni rulers. The uprising in Bahrain was the first in the Gulf. But clashes have since spread to Oman and opposition groups in Saudi Arabia have brought rare challenges to the near-absolute power of the nation’s king.

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