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Bahrain Shiite majority demands transitional government (PHOTOS)

Bahrain Shiite majority demands transitional government (PHOTOS)
A number of Shiite rallies have been held across Bahrain as thousands of protesters demanded a transition government and the ousting of the prime minister who has been running the island since 1974.

­Demonstrators gathered in Diya village near the capital Manama carrying flags and chanting "Resign, Khalifa!", while west of the capital, in the village of Sanabis a rally assembled near the Pearl Monument also calling for change.

In the meantime, Bahraini men and women waved the national flag and chanted during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs.

Though police regularly use violence to disperse crowds of protesters, Bahrainis have continued to protest, demanding greater rights and freedoms from a ruling Sunni minority.  More than 80 people have died in the unrest since the pro-democracy protests, led by the country's Shiite Muslim majority, erupted in February 2011.

An anti-government protester holds a placard showing the Pearl Monument that reads, "We will not return′′ during an anti-government protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012 (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
An anti-government protester holds a placard showing the Pearl Monument that reads, "We will not return'' during an anti-government protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012 (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
Protesters hold pictures of political prisoner Ebrahim Sharif as they participate in an anti-government protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
Protesters hold pictures of political prisoner Ebrahim Sharif as they participate in an anti-government protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
An anti-government protester holds a banner during a protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
An anti-government protester holds a banner during a protest held in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
Protesters hold pictures of political prisoners as they participate in an anti-government protest in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
Protesters hold pictures of political prisoners as they participate in an anti-government protest in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama December 22, 2012. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
Bahraini Shiite Muslim women take part in an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs, on December 22, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)
Bahraini Shiite Muslim women take part in an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs, on December 22, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)
 Bahraini Shiite Muslim women hold the national flag during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs, on December 22, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)
Bahraini Shiite Muslim women hold the national flag during an anti-government demonstration in the western Manama suburb of Jidhafs, on December 22, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)
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