Bahrainis Urge Pullout of Saudi Forces

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Bahraini opposition groups in peaceful rallies called for the freedom of political prisoners and the immediate withdrawal of Saudi forces from the Persian Gulf country.

Demonstrators in several areas, as in Abu Saiba and Khamis, called for the release of prominent Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

The protests come following weeks of demonstrations calling for the release of Salman, who was arrested on December 28, 2014, after Manama accused him of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

Troops from Saudi Arabia have been also deployed to Bahrain to assist in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters. According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.

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