Violence breaks out in Bahrain as anti-government rallies begin

VIOLENCE broke out in Bahrain last night on the eve of anti-government rallies spurred on by the success of the uprising in Egypt.

Riot police clashed with youths staging a march in Karzakan, a Shiite village in western Bahrain, and set up checkpoints ahead of today’s “day of rage”, which has been largely organised through the internet.

The tiny kingdom is one of the most politically volatile areas in the Gulf and is also home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Bahrain’s Shiites, who make up around 70 per cent of the population, have long complained of discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty.

Bahrain’s leaders have tried to quell the protests by offering more press freedom and giving every Bahraini family 1,000 dinars (£1,700).