March 25, 2011

Bahraini opposition activists will hold protests throughout the tiny island state on Friday, defying a ban on public gatherings under martial law declared last week.

It was not clear who was behind the marches, plans for which were circulated by email and internet. Neither the mainstream Shi’ite Muslim opposition group Wefaq nor the Feb. 14 Youth Movement which led protests at Pearl roundabout that were dispersed by riot police a week ago, were involved.

Demonstrators demanding political and constitutional reforms, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim majority, began mass protests against the Sunni Al Khalifa ruling family last month, drawing strength from the protest movement that has swept the Arab world in recent months.

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