Thousands protest outside Bahrain king's palace

MANAMA- Thousands of people held a protest against the Bahraini monarchy outside one of the king's palaces near Manama on Saturday, a day after a failed attempt to march on another royal palace.
Demonstrators called for the fall of the regime, chanting slogans against the king and the monarchy, from a street next to the walled Safriya Palace compound.

The lack of a security presence outside the palace suggested King Hamad was not in residence.
Anti-government protests in Shiite-majority but Sunni-ruled Bahrain broke out on February 14, after popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia toppled those countries' long-time autocratic rulers.
An email from a grouping of anti-government youth activists announcing the march said: "The February 14 Coalition calls on the people of Bahrain to maintain the pressure on the Al-Khalifa regime and urge them peacefully to step down, by marching towards the (Safriya) Palace."
As the protest wound down, dozens of anti-government protesters mobbed someone off to the side of the road, whom activists said was either a security forces employee or a government supporter, though this could not be verified.
Some of the protesters tried to protect the man, who apparently later left in an ambulance although it was unclear if he sustained injuries.
Some opposition groups and protesters stop short of calling for the end of the monarchy while others demand its fall. Protesters have kept up a vigil in hundreds of tents in Pearl Square, the epicentre of anti-government protests.
On Friday, police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters to block a march toward another royal palace and prevent clashes with armed loyalists.

Sunday, March 13th 2011

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