Police, Protesters Clash in Bahrain

At least 14 injured, according to Al Jazeera
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2011 6:47 AM CST
An unidentified Bahraini is carried to a vehicle to be taken to hospital Feb. 13, 2011, after being hit by birdshot when riot police opened fire on a demonstration in the village of Karzakan, Bahrain.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
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(Newser) – Bahrain organized its own “Day of Rage” today, where protesters—inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia—clashed with police around the capital. Shops closed, cars stayed off the street, and police were heavily armed in anticipation of the protests, sparked by a Shiite Muslim majority that says the Sunni elite discriminate against them. Police blocked roads and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters; at least one man, bleeding from his eyes, nose, and ears, was taken away in an ambulance, the New York Times reports. Al Jazeera reports that at least 14 were injured.

The Sunni Muslim king, in an effort to quell the coming unrest, has already announced plans to give every Bahraini family about $2,700 in cash. The skirmishes had ended by midday, but helicopters were still circling and protesters say they will continue to fight. "We are only asking for political reforms, right of political participation, respect for human rights, stopping of systematic discrimination against Shias,” a human rights worker tells Al Jazeera. "All the demands are to do with human rights and nothing to do with the ruling family and their regime." Click to read about similar clashes yesterday in Yemen.

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