Move by Bahrain police to remove Shiite banners spark clash

AP News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2015 11:06 AM
Move by Bahrain police to remove Shiite banners spark clash

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's government-supported Shiite endowment expressed regret Tuesday over a move by police to take down Shiite banners and flags, an action that sparked clashes earlier in the day.

The Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq said several people were injured in the clashes outside of Manama on Tuesday. Authorities gave no casualty figures for the clashes, which saw police fire tear gas and birdshot.

The kingdom's Shiite Endowment Department later issued a statement saying the banners and flags were allowed and said their removal "contradicted the guidelines" of the king.

Ashoura is a Shiite Muslim commemoration marking the death of Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq.

Bahrain has been rocked by years of turmoil between its Sunni rulers and largely Shiite population since 2011.