Conflicting reports centered on whether police had used rubber bullets to disperse protesters, something the government vehemently denied.
The violence came hours before U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates paid a surprise visit Friday to Bahrain in a show of support for the island kingdom's royal family. Bahrain, which holds a strategic position in the Persian Gulf, hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet—a home to 3,000 military personnel who oversee 30 naval ships and some 30,000 sailors.
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Hundreds injured during clashes between rival groups in Bahrain -- CNN
Clashes erupt between pro-, anti-gov't supporters in Bahrain -- Xinhuanet
Violence flares in Bahrain’s Sunni heartland -- Financial Times
Bahrain police block march on royal palace -- Reuters
Bahrain police fire tear gas at protesters -- AFP
Bahrain Warns Against Rally, Says It May Spark Sectarian Rift -- Bloomberg
Bahrain’s Shi’ites want Sunni monarchy toppled -- Jerusalem Post
Bahrain protesters 'facing death threats' -- CNN
U.S. Investigates Bahraini Security Forces in Crackdown -- Wall Street Journal
Gates Visits Bahrain Amid Huge Protests -- New York Times
U.S. Defense Secretary Pays Surprise Visit to Bahrain -- Wall Street Journal
US Defense Secretary in Bahrain to Discuss Reforms -- Voice of America
US defence chief in Bahrain amid street unrest -- AFP