BAHRAIN: Protesters try to get back to Pearl Square
Protesters broke the Bahrain government curfew early Saturday during a fierce sandstorm and tried to reach the Pearl Square traffic circle, where they had camped for weeks before authorities removed them in a violent crackdown.
The antigovernment protesters from Shiite villages hoped to take advantage of the sandstorm to evade police and retake the traffic circle. Sayed Hadi Naser of Sanabis said he and about 25 friends were surprised not to encounter any security forces as they made their way there about 12:30 a.m.
But the protesters retreated short of Pearl Square when they heard from others that a fleet of police cars was approaching.
On Friday, protesters in more than a dozen villages had defied government security forces and a ban on demonstrations by holding rallies to call for the ouster of the country’s ruling Sunni dynasty led by King Hamad bin Isa Khalifa.
— Neela Banerjee in Manama, Bahrain
Photo: Pro-democracy demonstrators march during a funeral procession on the outskirts of the Bahraini capital, Manama. Credit: Mazen Mahdi