Police fired stun grenades at the demonstrators during the clashes in the mainly Shiite neighborhoods surrounding the capital, Manama. Starting early in the morning, the mostly young demonstrators blocked roads leading into scores of Shiite villages to prevent security forces from entering.
Bahrain's Shiite majority is seeking a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
The main Shiite opposition group, Al Wefaq, said 35 protesters were wounded in the clashes, including three critically, in what it called a "systematic policy carried out under high, official orders to use violence against peaceful pro-democracy protesters."
It also accused police of using live ammunition and bird shot against some protesters.APA Bahraini anti-government protester adds... View Full Caption
"This is unforgettable day," said Maki Ali, an 18-year-old demonstrator from Bilad Al Qadeem, west of the capital. "I remember well how the Saudis with United Arab Emirates intervened in my country's internal affairs. They supported the government killing."
Saudi and other Gulf troops were deployed in Bahrain to help the Western-backed Sunni monarchy quell a wave of anti-government protests demanding a greater role for the country's Shiite majority.....