Protests in Bahrain continued on Friday 18 February despite deadly clashes the previous day that left four dead.

Reports from Manama say that after prayers thousands of people have joined the funeral processions of those killed on Thursday morning. The Shia protestors have been calling for the overthrow of Bahrain’s Sunni ruling family.

Government supporters are also said to be holding a rally in Manama.

Security forces broke up protests at the Pearl roundabout in central Manama early on Thursday 17 February.

Four protestors were killed in the operation that began at 3am local time. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowds. It is estimated that 10,000 people had gathered in the area to demand change.

Demonstrations began on a small scale on the night of 13 February in several villages before a ‘Day of Rage’ was held in Manama on 14 February, when one protester was killed. Another person was killed at the protester’s funeral on 15 February as clashes with the police continued.

The protesters say the Shia majority are discriminated against by the Sunni rulers in the distribution of housing and jobs, and are demanding more democratic reform of the country.