A peaceful mass protest turned violent on Friday in Bahrain after riot police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters who were calling for self-determination, activists have reported. Thousands of demonstrators marched along Budaiya Highway, north of Manama, the capital of the kingdom. Many chanted "The people want the fall of the regime!" and "Down, down Hamad!", referring to the ruler, King Hamad. Police fired teargas and stun grenades as well as birdshot pellets to disperse the protesters. According to activists many suffered from breathing difficulties due to tear gas inhalation and several protesters were also reportedly injured from birdshot pellets. Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the majority Shi'ite community began protests in February 2011, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. More than a year later, unrest persists with weekly mass rallies by opposition parties and clashes between youth activists and riot police. On Twitter many Bahraini activists reported today's incidents: Photo via @BeladOnlineEnG @SAIDYOUSIF @saye_doo
"Self-determination" protest turns violent in Bahrain, several injured [PICS]
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