About 7,000 Iraqis protested in the southern oil hub of Basra on Saturday against the presence of Saudi troops in Bahrain, highlighting the sectarian divide in Iraq.
Reuters reports that anger has been mounting among Shi’ites in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran over the movement of troops from Sunni Arab states to help Bahrain’s Sunni royal family stifle pro-democracy demonstrations by majority Shi’ites.
Bahrain said on Friday more troops were coming from other Gulf states to help restore security. It has swept protesters from a central square and arrested opposition leaders.
More than 20,000 people rallied across Iraq on Friday, and several thousand on Wednesday, in demonstrations organised by the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The demonstration in Basra, and a smaller protest of about 200 people in Baghdad, was organised by the Shi’ite Dawa party.
(Sources: Reuters, AFP)