Bahrain cleric: Protests to continue despite force

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Manama, March 25: A prominent cleric in Bahrain says brutal force used against protesters seeking to loosen the monarchy's monopoly on power will not drown out their demands for reform in the Gulf kingdom.

Sheik Isa Qassim says Bahrain's majority will continue demanding rights and dignity despite the rulers'' resolve to crush the monthlong uprising in the Gulf state, the home of the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

The cleric was speaking at a Friday sermon in Duraz, a village and an opposition stronghold northwest of the capital, Manama.

Thousands attended the service despite a ban on public gatherings. Security was tight, with police and army deployed around the island. Helicopters and two fighter jets circled above.

AP

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