World

Bahraini officials apologize after police taking down Shiite banners for Ashoura sparks clash

  • Bahraini women tend to a young man overcome by tear gas during clashes with riot police in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Bahraini women tend to a young man overcome by tear gas during clashes with riot police in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bahraini women take cover from police tear gas and shotgun fire in a stairwell during clashes in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    Bahraini women take cover from police tear gas and shotgun fire in a stairwell during clashes in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Bahraini runs into a house in an attempt to escape police tear gas and shotgun fire during clashes in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

    A Bahraini runs into a house in an attempt to escape police tear gas and shotgun fire during clashes in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Clashes erupted after police began removing street decorations for the Shiite religious occasion of Ashura, a 10-day mourning period for an early Shiite saint. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)  (The Associated Press)

Bahraini officials have apologized over police taking down Shiite banners and flags marking Ashoura, an action that sparked clashes earlier in the day in the island kingdom.

The Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq says several people were injured in the clashes outside of Manama on Tuesday. Authorities gave no casualty figures for the clashes, which saw police fire tear gas and birdshot.

The kingdom's Shiite Endowment Department later issued a statement acknowledging the banners and flags were allowed and said their removal "contradicted the guidelines" of the king.

Ashoura is a Shiite Muslim commemoration marking the death of Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq.

Bahrain has been rocked by years of turmoil between its Sunni rulers and largely Shiite population since 2011.