In one of the most violent confrontations in Bahrain since troops killed seven protesters last month, police have used tear gas and water cannon to break up demonstrations against the kingdom’s royal family.
Witnesses said rubber bullets were also fired by police.
Bahrain is gripped in its worst unrest since the 1990s. For several weeks the Shi’ite majority has been holding rallies complaining against what it says is discrimination by the ruling Sunni minority.
Hours after the clashes Bahrain’s crown prince issued a statement renewing assurances to the opposition that national dialogue would address their demands.
But with tension escalating, a spokesperson for the protesters said they wanted more positive gestures of reform before sitting down to talks.