Riot police have fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government protesters taking to the streets of the Bahraini capital Manama.
The unrest comes just days before the controversial Formula One Grand Prix is held in the country. Organisers have ignored pleas for it to be called off.
“We are against awarding dictators. Formula One in Bahrain has been taken as PR (public relations) for the ruling elite, the repressive dictators who are ruling the country,” said human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.
Those seeking to oust Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim monarchy have threatened what they have described as “days of rage” ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.
Protesters argue that the decision to hold the event in Bahrain gives greater international legitimacy to the monarchy and its crackdowns.
Last year’s racing was called off because of anti-government protests which left nearly 50 people dead.