Protests in Bahrain mark 2011 uprising

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in predominantly Shiite areas of Bahrain and set tires alight along a major highway to mark the fourth anniversary of widespread protests calling for reform in the tiny island nation.

The 2011 protests were dominated by the country's Shiite majority, and sought greater political rights from the Western-allied Sunni monarchy. Authorities crushed the protests within weeks after getting help from Saudi and Emirati security forces, but unrest continues.

Young activists armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails frequently block roads and clash with police. Saturday's protests were far smaller than those of the early days of the protest movement. Opposition activists can’t gather in large groups because security forces use checkpoints, tear gas and other methods to prevent them from getting onto major highways. Bahrain is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet, and is part of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group.