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Wed Sep 5, 2012 8:45AM
A Bahraini policeman fires tear gas at anti-regime protesters in the village of Diraz, west of Manama. (File photo)

A Bahraini policeman fires tear gas at anti-regime protesters in the village of Diraz, west of Manama. (File photo)

Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked demonstrators protesting against the Al Khalifa regime across the Persian Gulf country, Press TV reports. The regime forces on Wednesday used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters in the capital, Manama, the northeastern island of Sitra, the northern village of Tubli and the western village of Sadad. The demonstrators also expressed solidarity with leading opposition figures and condemned the recent verdicts against them. The protests came after a Bahraini civilian court on Tuesday upheld jail sentences against at least 13 opposition leaders. The jail terms, seven of them life sentences, were previously issued by a military court. Human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and opposition leader Hassan Mushaimaa are among those sentenced to life in prison. On August 23, a Bahraini appeals court upheld a three-year prison term for prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab over taking part in “unauthorized protests.” The tiny Persian Gulf island state, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February last year and scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the protests. DB/HSN/HJL