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Bahrainis Set to Bury Activist Killed in Crackdown

Cars drive past barricades set up by Bahraini demonstrators at a Shiite neighborhood in Manama on March 17, 2011

Hundreds of Bahrainis gathered Friday to bury a protester killed in a violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

Mourners of youth activist Ahmed Farhan waited in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, for authorities to release his body. The French news agency reports that authorities have not yet allowed Farhan's body to be removed from Manama's main hospital.

At least five people were killed Wednesday when security forces swept through Manama's main square, which has been a rallying point for protesters.

Bahrain's opposition has promised to keep up peaceful protests despite the government's use of force.

The government declared a three-month state of emergency this week to try to end the protests. And Bahraini authorities have arrested at least six opposition leaders on charges that include communicating with foreign countries.

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa authorized about 1,000 Saudi soldiers and 500 United Arab Emirates' police to enter Bahrain Monday, in an effort to protect government buildings after groups of protesters paralyzed the capital's financial district.

Bahrain's majority Shi'ite population is demanding political reforms from the minority Sunni government.

The ruling al-Khalifa family has offered to hold a talks with opposition groups. But some protesters are demanding more power for parliament and that the royal family be ousted.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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