Minor clashes erupted in two villages in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain Monday after security forces clamped down on Shi'ite led anti-government protests inspired by recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
REUTERS - Small-scale clashes erupted in two Bahraini villages as security forces tightened their grip on Shi'ite communities for Monday's "Day of Rage" protests inspired by upheaval in Egypt and Tunisia.
Helicopters circled over the capital Manama, where protesters were expected to gather in the afternoon, and police cars stepped up their presence in Shi'ite villages, breaking up one protest with teargas and rubber bullets. At least 14 people were injured in clashes overnight and on Monday.
Bahrain, where a Sunni family rules over a Shi'ite majority, has offered cash payouts in the run-up to the protest to prevent Shi'ite discontent from bubbling over as popular revolts spread in the Arab world.
"We call on all Bahraini people -- men, women, boys and girls -- to share in our rallies in a peaceful and civilised way to guarantee a stable and promising future for ourselves and our children," Bahraini activists said in a statement issued on Twitter.
Date created : 2011-02-14