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Arrests in Bahrain on uprising milestone eve

Demonstrators held over "rioting and vandalism" in villages outside the capital Manama, the interior ministry says.

Last updated: 14 Feb 2014 11:49
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Thursday was the first of three days of protests called by the Shia-led opposition [AP]

Bahrain has announced the arrest of 29 people as anti-government protesters tried to converge in the capital to mark the third anniversary of an uprising in the Gulf island nation.

Hundreds of demonstrators attempted to reach Pearl Roundabout  in Manama on Friday, the eve of the anniversary in the Sunni minority-ruled country. Pearl Roundabout was a protest hub for the uprising that started on February 14, 2011.

Some marchers were seen carrying Bahraini flags, while others held unlit Molotov cocktails or metal rods, the Reuters news agency reported.

The 29 were arrested over "rioting and vandalism'' in villages outside the capital, the interior ministry said.

Thursday was the first of three days of protests called by the Shia-led opposition to mark the date.

At least 89 people have been killed in the three years since the launch of the uprising, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

At one point, neighbouring Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia, sent troops to Bahrain to help quell the Shia-led protests.

The Pearl Roundabout and its central monument were later razed and the site remains heavily restricted.

Two rounds of national reconciliation talks have failed to make any headway on a settlement in the Gulf archipelago, which is home base to the United States Fifth Fleet.

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