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Huge protest rally in Bahrain

NEWS STORY
11/03/2012

As much as 20 percent of the population of Bahrain took to the streets of Manama in protest on Friday, just six weeks before the country is due to host its Grand Prix.

The crowd, estimated at 100,000, the biggest demonstration for some time, attempted to reach the former Pearl Roundabout, scene of last year's protests, was fired on by the security forces using tear gas.

While the main procession was mainly peaceful, there were a number of breakaway groups and it is these that clashed with the security forces.

In a separate incident, teargas was also fired at mourners attending the funeral of a 22-year-old man whose family claims he was fatally injured during clashes earlier this month.

Hundreds of people marched on a police station after the burial of Fadhel Mirza, who died early on Saturday morning form injuries received on March 1.

Weeks after the start of the so-called Arab Spring, trouble erupted in Bahrain as the (mainly) Shiite population rebelled against the country's Sunni monarchy.

The pro-democracy demonstrators are seeking to end the Sunni dynasty's control of all the main posts and policies in the Gulf nation.

Footage from the march can be found here

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