Bahrain’s government says it has begun talks with opposition groups demanding reform.
The statement released via Twitter came several hours after thousands of people streamed back into Pearl Square following the withdrawal of the army and then riot police.
Many of those gathered hailed the day’s events as a victory and vowed to continue the protest.
One unnamed demonstrator said: “We’ll stay until we achieve our demands. This is our country, but we’ll stay here if they hit us, we will stay.”
Emboldened protesters, cheering and waving national flags, retook the symbolic square even before all police had left. Tents, removed two days ago by the army, were set up again along with makeshift medical stations to treat any wounded.
Hundreds of women also joined the celebrations.
“Most Bahraini women are educated, and they’re fighting for their rights. So they’re taking part, they’re taking an active part in the demonstration,” said one protester.
At least six people are said to have been killed since the protests started on Monday with up to 60 others injured.