Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain

MANAMA, (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated yesterday to demand urgent political reforms, in what witnesses said was the biggest demonstration in a year of unrest.

They began marching along a highway near Manama in response to a call from leading Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, who urged people to renew their calls for greater democracy.

A live blog showed images of the protesters carrying banners denouncing “dictatorship” and demanding the release of detainees.

“We are here for the sake of our just demands that we cannot make concessions over and we stick with them because we have sacrificed for them,” Sheikh Isa Qassim said before the march  in his weekly sermon in the Shi’ite village of Diraz.

Qassim and other Shi’ite clerics led the march.

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