Bahraini police fired teargas and stun grenades yesterday to disperse protesters trying to march to Pearl Square, the now-crushed symbol of their uprising that they occupied two years ago, witnesses said.
Hundreds of people marched towards the square in the capital Manama carrying Bahraini flags and chanting: “Square of martyrdom, we all still have the will”.
The February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, a clandestine radical cyber group, had called for demonstrations marking the second anniversary of the Shia-led uprising.
During the uprising, protesters had camped for one month at Pearl Square before being driven out in mid-March 2011. Authorities later razed the square.
The attempt to march to the square came after the main Shia opposition bloc, Wefaq, organised a massive protest in which thousands took part in the Shia village of Sanabis, near Manama.
The interior ministry said on Twitter that after the opposition’s rally ended, “a group of saboteurs caused riot and blocked roads, requiring authorities to take legal action against them”.
Opposition supporters have been demonstrating for more than a week ahead of the anniversary.
Bahrain has been rocked by unrest since its forces crushed the Shia-led protests in March 2011. The unrest has so far left 80 people dead, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.