Manama: Bahrain police on Friday fired tear gas to disperse Shiite protesters who took to the streets of the capital Manama chanting anti-government slogans, witnesses said.
The demonstration coincided with the final of the Gulf Cup football tournament played between the UAE and Iraq and hosted by the kingdom.
The protesters attempted to march in small groups in the narrow alleys of central Manama, as riot police fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades, said witnesses.
Police arrested several protesters, including at least one woman, they reported.
Protesters also staged demonstrations and burned tyres in villages outside Manama as they failed to reach the capital due to a heavy security cordon, other witnesses said.
The demonstration in Manama was called for by the February 14 Youth Coalition, an Internet group that regularly calls for protests in the kingdom.
Bahrain’s government said on Thursday the demonstration had not been authorised and warned security forces would prevent it from going ahead.