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Thousands of Opposition Protesters Rally in Bahrain

Thousands of opposition supporters held demonstrations in Bahrain's capital Friday, leading to clashes for a second day.

Anti-government protesters jammed a major highway that links several Shi'ite-populated areas to the capital, Manama, to mark the second anniversary of an uprising against the country's Sunni rulers.

The march along the main highway was largely peaceful, however breakaway groups clashed with riot police in nearby neighborhoods. Witnesses say demonstrators threw stones and police fired tear gas.

Friday's demonstrations began early in the morning and lasted almost all day.

During protests on Thursday, a teenage boy was killed by police gunfire on the outskirts of the capital. And overnight Thursday to Friday, a policeman in Manama died after being hit by a homemade explosive.



The majority Shi'ite opposition called for the nationwide demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the 2011 uprising amid the wave of pro-democracy movements in other Arab countries.

Protesters are demanding democratic reforms in Bahrain and an end to the Sunni monarchy's perceived discrimination against Shi'ites.

Bahrain's government crushed the demonstrations in March 2011, sending security forces to clear a protest encampment in Manama and bringing in troops from neighboring Sunni-led Gulf states to restore order.

Street battles between Bahraini security forces and Shi'ite demonstrators have continued, mostly outside of Manama. At least 55 people have been killed since the uprising began.

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