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Bahraini police set up checkpoints and patrolled key roads Saturday in a massive show of force during highly charged parliamentary elections that Shiite-led opposition groups have vowed to boycott.
Bahrain's Sunni monarchy detained at least seven prominent opposition activists Thursday, and Iran recalled its ambassador to protest the Gulf troops backing the government against the Shiite protests that forced martial law-style rule in the island nation.
Soldiers and riot police expelled hundreds of protesters from a landmark square in Bahrain's capital on Wednesday, using tear gas and armored vehicles to try to subdue the growing movement calling for an end to the 200-year-old monarchy. At least five people were killed as clashes flared across the kingdom, according to witnesses and officials.
Senior members of Bahrain's largest opposition party told The Washington Times on Thursday that they were cautiously optimistic about upcoming talks with the government after it took several confidence-building measures.