Manama (Tasnim) – Angry protests continued on Wednesday night across Bahrain over the Al Khalifa regime’s deadly crackdown on supporters of top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim in Diraz, the cleric’s home village.
Thousands of Bahrainis took to the streets in different parts of Bahrain, shouting slogans against King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, deeming him responsible for the deterioration of security situation in the country, the Bahrain Mirror news website reported on Thursday.
Protesters marched their way to the suburbs of Manama despite the regime’s warning against holding more public gatherings. The peaceful protests turned ugly after regime forces fired tear gas at the demonstrators.
The Bahraini Interior Ministry issued the warning a day after police stormed into the home of Sheikh Qassim, prompting clashes with the cleric’s supporters. During the raid, regime forces shot dead at least six demonstrators, wounded dozens and arrested over 280 people.
The latest developments came after a Bahraini court on Sunday sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) have been also confiscated. Moreover, Sheikh Qassim has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,650).
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.
This post originally ran on Tasnim News Agency.