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Bahrain Government Bans Protests Amid Violence

Shi´ite Muslim youth protest in Manama in May.
Bahrain has banned all protests after clashes between police and antigovernment demonstrators.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifah said on October 30 that the government wants to protect freedom of expression but the privilege had been "abused repeatedly" by rally organizers.

For several days last week, police said they clashed with protesters at villages outside the capital, Manama.

Demonstrations were last banned during a three-month state of emergency declared in March 2011.

The Shi’ite majority in the Sunni-ruled nation launched a wave of protests in February 2011 aimed at winning a greater political voice.

Dozens of people have been killed and thousands jailed since then.

Shi'as make up about 70 percent of Bahrain's population, but say they face systematic discrimination.

Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP