Thousands march in Bahrain

July 2, 2011 17:59

Tens of thousands take to Bahrain's streets ahead of a crucial national dialogue on political reform.

Thousands march in Bahrain

Bahrain protest 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Tens of thousands of Bahrainis take to the streets at an opposition rally.

The crowd, largely Shi'ite Muslims, call on the Sunni-led government to end what they call systemic discrimination.

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Bahrain has been gripped by protests in recent months, seen by many as a serious threat to the rule of the country's leader - King Hamed.

In response, the tiny Gulf state is holding a national dialogue where leaders will discuss long-time Shi'ite grievances.

Those include a lack of access to jobs and social services.

Hamed has promised reforms, and a national inquiry in the deaths of several protesters earlier this years.

But the opposition questions whether the government is seriously committed to change.

They point to the fact that just 10% of the seats at the forum have been reserved for their members.

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