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PROTEST

HUNDREDS of anti-government protesters marched from the Pearl Roundabout to the Interior Ministry in Manama yesterday.

They made sure they passed all major entrances to the ministry compound, also known as the Police Fort.

However, organisers prevented anyone from getting too close to the ministry gates.

Police officers were stationed on top of the ministry buildings from where they filmed the demonstration, while a helicopter hovered overhead.

Security was also beefed up around the ministry, with riot police and military personnel positioned in key locations and barbed wire protecting the entrances.

However, the protest passed without incident as demonstrators carried banners saying "no to naturalisation" and demanded the release of even more prisoners, despite His Majesty King Hamad already pardoning 308 criminal suspects and convicts.

Those who have not yet been released include men convicted of killing a policeman and a Pakistani civilian in two separate Molotov cocktail attacks.

"We also demand an independent probe into the deaths of seven men last month," said protester Abdul Saffar.

The King has already ordered an inquiry into the incidents of the past few weeks, during which seven anti-government protesters lost their lives in clashes with security forces.

However, another march is being lined up today near Bahrain City Centre at 7pm.

Two protests are also planned for tomorrow, with the first starting after noon prayers and featuring people heading from the villages of Aker, Nuwaidarat, Ma'ameer and Sitra to the Pearl Roundabout.

The second march will start at 3pm and run from the Labour Ministry, Isa Town, past the Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation and will end at the Central Informatics Organisation. sandy@gdn.com.bh



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