15 Feb 2012

Clampdown in Bahrain

6:32 am on 15 February 2012

A security clampdown is in place in the capital of Bahrain to deter protesters on the first anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising in the kingdom.

Last February, mainly Shi'ite protesters occupied the Pearl roundabout in Manama for a month before security forces broke up the protest, with the help of Saudi troops.

At least 35 people were killed and almost 3000 arrested. The Pearl monument has since been demolished.

Large parts of Manama are sealed off on Tuesday, including the financial district.

Armoured vehicles are patrolling within the capital for the first time since martial law was lifted in June.

Riot police used tear gas and stun grenades on Monday to disperse demonstrations in several villages, including Sitra and Sanabis.

Most of the demonstrators a year ago were Shia Muslims and roads to and from Shia villages on the outskirts of the city are closed.