Five people were killed in Bahrain on Tuesday when police opened fire on a protest by supporters of a top cleric in a Shiite village, the interior ministry said, in the latest unrest to hit the Sunni-ruled Gulf state.
"Five deaths have been registered among the outlaws" in Diraz, near the capital of Manama, where the police opened fire to disperse the sit-in outside the home of cleric Isa Qassim, the ministry said in a Twitter message.
Witnesses had earlier told AFP that several civilians were wounded when police officers fired at demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces.
"A total of 286 arrests were made, including fugitives that had escaped from Jau Prison," the ministry said.
"Several terrorists and convicted felons were also apprehended with a large number of them hiding in the residence of Isa Qassim," it added.
Qassim is considered the spiritual leader of Bahrain's majority Shiite community.
A US State Department official said Washington was "concerned" by the reports of protesters killed and was following events in Bahrain very closely.
"We urge restraint on all sides in responding to today's developments and call on all parties to contribute to a climate conducive for dialogue and reconciliation," the official told AFP.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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