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Bahrainis launch protests, marking 7th anniversary of uprising Open in fullscreen

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Bahrainis launch protests, marking 7th anniversary of uprising

Protesters throw stones at Bahraini police [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 February, 2018

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Mass Shia-led protests marked Bahrain between 2011-2014, and included calls for an end to the Al Khalifa ruling family.

Dozens of Shia men and women took to Bahrain's streets on Wednesday to mark the seventh anniversary of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising, with clashes reported between demonstrators and police.

Protesters chanted anti-regime slogans and paid tribute to those detained in the Gulf state's jails, reported AFP.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition, but the number of casualties so far remains unclear.

"Protests will continue throughout the day today," said Saaed al-Shehabi, leader of Bahrain's Freedom Movement, who is based in the UK. "The situation is as tense as ever, and the crackdown is also severe," he added.

Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa family, but is home to a majority Shia population.

The island-kingdom is located between Saudi Arabia and its arch-rival Iran.

Bahrain amended its citizenship laws following the 2011 protests to allow authorities to strip nationality from those it deems "disloyal". Hundreds have been stripped of their citizenship over the past seven years.

Manama accuses Iran of backing the protests and pushing for a change of government in Bahrain.

The US Fifth Fleet along with a British military base that is under construction are located in the strategic Gulf state.

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