Small-scale clashes were reported in two villages in Bahrain ahead of a protest rally planned for today in a "Day of Wrath" inspired by recent protests in Egypt and Tunisia.
Reports say police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in the mostly Shi'ite village of Newidrat in the southwest region of the island kingdom in the Gulf.
Police also clashed with protesters in the village of Karzakan, where one protester was reported injured.
Meanwhile, security forces have stepped up their presence in the capital Manama, where protests are being planned later today. Bahrain's majority Shi'a have long complained of discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty, but protests in Manama are rare.
compiled from agency reports