Bahraini forces have attacked groups of protesters marking the seventh anniversary of their uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah in different areas across the kingdom, injuring several of them in the ensuing clashes.
Braving a heavy police presence, large numbers of people took to the streets in several towns and villages, including Dumistan, Tashan and Bilad al-Qadim, on Wednesday evening, shouting anti-regime slogans.
The protesters, including many women, paid respect to all the dissidents and opposition activists languishing in the Manama regime’s jails, calling for resistance against Al Khalifah’s Saudi-backed crackdown campaign.
The gatherings, however, turned violent as Bahraini forces intervened and fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators in several areas.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in mid-February 2011.
People are staging nationwide rallies amid a general strike against the Al Khalifah ruling family, drawing a heavy-handed response from security forces.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and let a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
The kingdom has also stripped hundreds of its citizens of their nationality, and has jailed dozens of high-profile activists and religious clerics over the past seven years.