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Bahrain opens trial against alleged militants

July 11, 2013

MANANA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer in Bahrain says state prosecutors have opened their cases against 50 suspected members of a shadowy anti-government faction accused of trying to topple the Gulf kingdom’s Western-backed rulers.

The group, known as the Feb. 14 movement after the opening the Shiite-led uprising in 2011, is the most militant network active in Bahrain’s near nonstop unrest. Its leadership is unknown and is believed to be a loose alliance linked by social media.

Lawyer Manar Maki says only nine suspects attended the first court session Thursday. Among them was a 38-year-old woman who claimed she was stripped and tortured in custody. The trial resumes July 25.

Bahrain’s Shiite majority has pressed for a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled island, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

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