RELIGION

Iranians stage protest rally against Bahrain crackdown

Hundreds of Iranian worshippers have rallied in Tehran to denounce a Bahrain police raid on the hometown of a prominent Shiite cleric this week that left five of his supporters dead and 286 arrested.

The Iranian demonstrators took to the streets after Friday prayers in Tehran, chanting "Death to the House of Khalifa," a reference to the ruling family of Bahrain, and also, "Death to the House of Saud," a reference to the Saudi royal family

Iranian media said similar rallies took place in other cities and towns across the country.

Predominantly Shiite Iran sees itself as a protector of Shiites across the Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia has backed Bahrain's Sunni monarchy. Bahrain says Tuesday's operation in Diraz, Sheikh Isa Qassim hometown, to "maintain security and public order."