DUBAI - At least 10 civilians and several policemen were injured in Bahrain on Thursday, an opposition group and the government said, during protests to mark the second anniversary of the arrival of Saudi forces which helped crush a pro-democracy uprising.
Home to the US Fifth Fleet, the tiny state has been hit by unrest since the revolt in early 2011, becoming a front line in a region-wide tussle for influence between Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Arab states such as Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent in 1,500 troops on March 14, 2011 to help suppress the uprising.
The mass disturbances were crushed but demonstrators, mainly from Bahrain's Shi'ite majority, have continued small protests on an almost daily basis demanding equality and a constitutional monarchy in the kingdom ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa family.
The latest violence followed the death of two young men during clashes with police last month as Bahrainis marked the second anniversary of the Feb. 14 start of the uprising. It is likely to cast a shadow over reconciliation talks between the government and the opposition aimed at ending political turmoil.
The Islamist Wefaq association - the country's biggest opposition group - said that, by midday on Thursday, at least 10 people had been injured by security forces who they said used live bullets, birdshot and teargas against "peaceful demonstrators".