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Bahrain: Clashes on Arab Spring anniversary Feb. 13-14 /update 1

Clashes reported amid protests commemorating anniversary of 2011 uprising February 14; protests expected to continue through February 15

14 févr. 13h41 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 13/2/2018, 12h00 until 15/2/2018, 11h59 (Asia/Bahrain). COUNTRY/REGION Bahrain, Diraz, Sitra, Nuwaidrat, Abu Saiba, Daih, Mameer, Al Eker, Bilad Al-Qadeem
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14 févr. 13h41 UTC  — 

Bahrain: Protests expected February 13-15

Event

Clashes erupted on the evening of Tuesday, February 13, and continued on Wednesday, February 14, amid protests commemorating the anniversary of the 2011 Arab Spring protests. Protests have been reported in Shi’a villages outside the capital Manama, including Diraz, Sitra, Nuwaidrat, Abu Saiba, Daih, Mameer, Al Eker, and Bilad Al-Qadeem. Bahraini police reportedly fired tear gas to disperse crowds and videos posted on social media show protesters throwing stones at security forces. It is unclear whether the clashes resulted in casualties.

Protests are expected to continue on Wednesday evening and on Thursday. Related commercial and transportation disruptions are expected during the protests, as well as a heightened police presence in affected areas. Further clashes between protesters and security forces are likely.

Context

Bahrain's Shi'a Muslims accuse the royal family and the government of marginalizing their community. Although not authorized by the Bahraini authorities, protests regularly take place (especially on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) and police units often use force and tear gas to disperse crowds. Protesters sometimes respond by throwing Molotov cocktails, detonating improvised explosive devices (IEDs), attempting to block roads, or burning tires.

Anti-government protests erupted in Bahrain on February 14, 2011 (termed the "Day of Rage"), particularly in Shi'a areas, as part of the broader Arab Spring movement. Protesters clashed with security forces, resulting in dozens of casualties.

Advice

Individuals in Bahrain are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all gatherings and protests due to potential violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

In general, various Western governments advise their citizens in Bahrain to remain extremely vigilant at all times while in the country due to the extant terrorist threat and to avoid public places lacking adequate security. Moreover, IED attacks often target security forces and other government installations; individuals in Bahrain are consequently advised to stay away from sites that are deemed particularly likely to be targeted (e.g. ministries, public buildings, police patrols, military zones, etc.).

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