Bahrain's Opposition Says Its Chief Arrested

Bahrain's Opposition Says Its Chief Arrested

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Bahrain police arrested Ali Salman, head of the main Shiite opposition bloc Al-Wefaq that has spearheaded protests against the authorities in the Persian Gulf kingdom, the group said on Saturday.

"Al-Wefaq can confirm that Sheikh Ali Salman has been arrested," The bloc said in a brief statement.

There was no immediate word from the authorities on the reported arrest.

In a separate statement, Al-Wefaq said supporters of Salman were gathering outside his home after hearing of his arrest, AFP reported.

It said they were holding up pictures of the group's leader and "demanding his immediate release".

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa ruling family to step down.

One month later, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government to crush the peaceful protests.

According to local sources, tens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown.

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