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Bahrain Protests Spread To Financial Center



(WATCH: Video uploaded to YouTube taken by a Swiss businessman living in Bahrain shows police retreating after they tried to clear barricades on the King Faisal Highway.)

Bahraini police have clashed with demonstrators trying to occupy Manama's banking center.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at around 350 activists who had sealed off the Financial Harbor business complex with road blocks and a human chain.

Residents said that thousands of protesters, however, returned to the area later in the afternoon. Hospital sources said around 200 people had been hurt in the violence, mainly from inhaling tear gas.

The Interior Ministry said 14 policemen were injured. Meanwhile, King Hamad reiterated an offer of dialogue with the main opposition groups, which have refused to negotiate until the government resigns and dissidents are released from jail.

compiled from agency reports
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