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BAHRAIN OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS FOR SUNNI-SHIITE HARMONY

A Bahraini Shiite opposition leader called for Sunni-Shiite harmony on Friday as thousands of protesters marched in Manama, a day after residents of a town south of the capital reported sectarian clashes.

“I will consider any attack against anyone in this country as an attack against me,” Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the Islamic National Accord Association (INAA), the main Shiite political formation, told thousands of demonstrators marching on the King Faisal Corniche in Manama.

Shiites should guarantee the safety of every Sunni family, and Sunnis should do the same for the Shiites, Salman said.

The demonstrators massed at the compound where the tiny Gulf kingdom’s foreign ministry is located and marched along the corniche toward Pearl Square.

The square, where demonstrators keep vigil in hundreds of tents, has become the epicentre of protests that began on February 14 against the dynasty, which has ruled for over 200 years.

“The people want to topple the government!” chanted the protesters, in a variation on their usual refrain of the “the people want to topple the regime.”

On Thursday, six Bahraini opposition groups laid out their conditions for dialogue.

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