Bahrain police clamp down on protests in financial area

Tear gas used to push back anti-government rallies in Bahrain Financial Harbour
Bahrain police clamp down on protests in financial area
ONGOING PROTESTS Bahraini riot police blocked a key thoroughfare on Sunday to stop protesters who were planning to prevent employees from entering the Bahrain Financial Harbour (Getty Images)
By Reuters
Sun 13 Mar 2011 11:54 AM

Bahraini riot police blocked a key thoroughfare on Sunday to stop protesters who were planning to prevent employees from entering the Bahrain Financial Harbour, a key business district.

Forming a thick line across the motorway, police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters and pushed them back towards Pearl roundabout, the focal point of weeks of demonstrations on the Gulf Arab island.

Police appeared to outnumber protesters but dozens of people rushed toward the demonstration as news spread. Helicopters circled overhead and ambulances headed to the scene.

Bahrain has been gripped by its worst unrest since the 1990s after protesters took to the streets last month, inspired by uprisings that toppled the leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

The kingdom, home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has seen weeks of rallies by its disgruntled Shi'ite majority, which says it is discriminated against by the Sunni Al Khalifa ruling family.

Thousands of the nascent February 14 youth movement are still occupying Manama's Pearl Square and have launched almost daily marches. They appear increasingly impatient with the government, which has only made a few concessions so far.

The youth movement said in a statement late on Saturday that it would form a human chain to block entry to the Financial Harbour from noon on Sunday.

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