Bahrain protests flare up after rally blocked

January 25, 2013 - 10:32 AM
Mideast Bahrain

Bahraini anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Ma'ameer, Bahrain, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Ma'ameer, Bahrain. Riot police in Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government protesters whose chants included calls to reject proposed talks aimed at easing nearly two years of unrest in the Gulf nation. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Hundreds of anti-government protesters have clashed with riot police in Bahrain's capital after authorities denied a request for a major opposition rally.

Friday's confrontations included police firing tear gas at protesters in the narrow streets of Manama's traditional market area.

The unrest came after authorities rejected a request by the main Shiite-led opposition groups for a gathering in the capital.

More than 55 people have died in nearly two years of tensions between the Sunni-led government and the kingdom's majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.

On Thursday, police fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government protesters near Sitra, south of Manama. The demonstrators there were chanting to reject proposed talks aimed at easing unrest in the Gulf nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.