Over 120 hurt in Bahrain clashes, dialogue sought

By REUTERS
February 15, 2012 17:01

 
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MANAMA - More than 120 protesters have been wounded in clashes with police in Bahrain this week, activists said on Wednesday, and a top opposition figure said the government had put out feelers about talks to resolve the Gulf island's year-long crisis.

Activists using the name "Feb. 14 Youth Coalition" called for more demonstrations a day after protests to mark the first anniversary of a violently suppressed pro-democracy uprising with Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian overtones.

"There were over 100 cases on Tuesday and 37 of them are bad, with head injuries and fractures," said a medic who works with researchers of an international organisation and asked not to be identified. "On Monday we had 20 people (wounded) in villages around the country."

The protests began as a spontaneous movement embracing both Shi'ites and Sunnis, cutting across religious and class divides with demands for broad political, social and economic reform. But they descended into sectarian violence as backroom talks on democratic reforms went nowhere, and hardliners in government and opposition seized the initiative.

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