Regime forces in Bahrain stormed town of Diraz on Wednesday, attacking peaceful protesters who has been since June defending the house of prominent Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem.
Clashes took place between the protesters and the heavily armed regime forces who fired tear gas and used the internationally banned birdshot weapon.
Several protesters were injured and several others were arrested by regime forces.
One of the forces told protesters that the crackdown was just a “prova” (test) to arrest Sheikh Qassem.
Meanwhile, Press TV also reported the clashes, but said that regime forces handed a warrant to sheikh Qassem to appear in court.
Sheikh Qassem supporters who have been camping out at the area as a protective measure for his safety, called on more people from the local population to join them following the police raid.
The sit-in protest outside the cleric’s home entered its 185th day on Wednesday.
The sit-in protest began on June 20, when Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship, less than a week after suspending the country’s main opposition party, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution — founded by the senior cleric — and another opposition Islamic association.
On the other hand, the country’s scholars called on Bahrainis to defend religious figures, urging peaceful rallies in support of Sheikh Qassem and Sheikh Ali Slaman, the Secretary General of al-Wefaq, who was sentenced to nine years inprison last week.