DUBAI - Bahrain arrested 29 people in the commercial district of the capital Manama on Friday as anti-government protesters marched in the city center in defiance of a government ban, state media said late on Friday.
Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, has been in political turmoil since a protest movement dominated by majority Shi'ite Muslims erupted in February 2011 demanding the Sunni-led monarchy enact democratic reforms.
The demonstration was organized by an opposition group called February 14, said Jasim Husain, one of the leaders of the main opposition group, Wefaq.
It came two weeks after protesters and police clashed in the city center for the first time since last year, following months of demonstrations in other parts of Manama and elsewhere in the country.
"Rioters hurled petrol bombs, iron rods and stones, endangering both the police and civilians in the area," the government Information Affairs Authority said in an emailed statement.
The government has taken a no-tolerance approach to protests in the city center, saying unrest in "vital commercial areas" could damage the economy.