Bahrain protest anniversary turns violent (VIDEO)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Rulers of Bahrain aimed to nip demonstrations in the bud ahead of the one year anniversary of Bahrain's suppressed protest movement, the Associated Press reported, by blanketing the capital of Manama with security personnel as protests against the regime turned violent last night. Al Jazeera said "thousands" marched through the streets of the capital, making it the largest protest in months.

Just one day before the anniversary, protesters took to the streets and police responded by firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters. Reuters reported that youths threw gasoline bombs at police.

Protesters attempted to take the roundabout known as Pearl Square, which had been the site of protests against the regime last year. Bahrain, with just over a half million people, is 70 percent Shiite but ruled by Sunnis.

More from GlobalPost: Drama in Manama: Police in Bahrain fire tear gas at anti-government protest as anniversary nears

After putting down protests last year, Bahrain's rulers promised to implement reforms but have so far failed to do so. Some of those demands include "ending the monarchy’s ability to select the government, set key state policies and appoint most of the parliament members," according to the AP.

The United States backed dialogue talks between the regime and the protesters, but the main opposition group backed out and said the government was unwilling to consider relinquishing power. Washington and Manama are allies, and Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy.

More from GlobalPost: Bahrain police fire tear gas on jailed activists on hunger strike 

Below is a video report from Al Jazeera English.

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