World Bulletin/News Desk
The leader of Bahrain's leading opposition party was hit by a rubber bullet and teargas canister during clashes with riot police on Friday, the party said, describing it as an escalation of government efforts to stop protests.
Sheikh Ali Salman was hit on the chest and shoulder, his Wefaq party said in a statement, and several others were also injured including Hassan Marzouk, pictures of whom circulated on social media showing him lying on the ground covered in blood around the neck.
There was no immediate Interior Ministry comment on the incident, but the ministry said late on Thursday it would prevent Wefaq organising a protest in the Sehla district on the edge of the capital.
It said the protest would obstruct traffic and that it had licensed numerous Wefaq protests already this year.
Witnesses said there was a heavy police presence to stop protesters reaching the site. They saw police fire teargas and demonstrators throwing petrol bombs.
"Security forces have been careful in dealing professionally with political leaders but this time was different. It seems a gradual crackdown is going on," said senior Wefaq party member Matar Matar. "They are closing the small margin for freedom of expression."
The Gulf Arab state, which hosts Washington's Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in February 2011, after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.
The ruling Al Khalifa family has extended parliament's powers of scrutiny over ministers and budgets, but rejected demands for full legislative powers and elected governments.
The government says Wefaq and its supporters have a Shi'ite sectarian agenda. The opposition says this is an excuse to avoid giving up privileges.
'After two series of negotiations without any results because of obstacles raised by the Saudis, Iranian pilgrims will unfortunately not be able to take part in the hajj,' state media reported
UN refugee agency says it is 'immediately' alerting Turkish authorities of developments in Azaz, northern Syria
ISIL has taken control of a number of villages in eastern and southern Azaz district
'Heavy clashes took place overnight between ISIL fighters and opposition inside the walls of Marea town,' a monitor says
Supreme leader urges freshly-elected parliament to be a stronghold against ‘impudence, charms’ of nation’s enemies
Syrian regime and Russian warplanes launch at least 40 airstrikes on towns in Aleppo province
The Pentagon has banned troops in Syria from wearing these Kurdish militia patches
UN humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland says reaching aid for Syrians it is impossible and a critical situation in some areas.
Egypt's lead investigator said signals coming from the aircraft's fuselage will narrow down the search radius from 40 miles to three
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered his second cabinet resignation in a week on Friday when a minister quit over the appointment of a hardline nationalist in the "extremist government".
Iranian man last of 4 refugees detained by Australia who volunteered to move to Cambodia last year
US ground troops are aiding the coalition against ISIL in Raqqa
Iranian official accuses Saudi Arabia of planning large-scale cyber attack against his country
Pentagon comment follows photos surfaced of U.S. special forces wearing Kurdish YPG patches in Syria
The Saudi foreign minister has said that the removal of President Bashar al-Assad as part of a political transition in the violence-torn country.
The US State department has said that it is only " playing an advise and assist role,"