No Incidents At Bahrain F1 Grand Prix Despite Protests Prior To Sunday’s Race

UPDATE The Bangkok Post reported witnesses said that "masked youths set alight tires on roads in Shiite villages just outside Manama, but access remained open to the Sakhir circuit." Queues at the circuit "confirmed a heavy security presence as every vehicle slowed to pass through a single file inspection by gun-carrying security guards." Bangkok Post

04/21/13 Protesters "blocked several roads and police fired teargas at a school in Bahrain on Sunday" as the Gulf state staged an F1 race "promoted by the government as pure sport but seen by the opposition as a public relations stunt," according to Alexander Dziadosz of REUTERS. Scores of police cars and a couple of armored vehicles "stood along the highway from the capital Manama to the race circuit," where the grand prix, won by F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, took place without incident.

Bahrain Centre for Human Rights VP Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda said, "The number of security in some areas is more than the number of protesters." Witnesses at the Sakhir desert circuit, roughly 30 km (20 miles) southwest of the capital, said that "there was no sign of unrest in the immediate vicinity." Asked for comment on the reported clashes, which included more of the near-nightly violence between police and youths in villages near the capital, an Interior Ministry official said only that "everything was normal." Reuters

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