F1 becomes focus of Bahrain anger

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Thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Bahrain joined a march yesterday that included breakaway protests against the scheduled Formula One race this month.

The anger against an F1 event seen as endorsement of the government appears lower than last year, but rights groups say security forces have expanded crackdowns. Opponents of the race have vowed wider protests next week.

The race is Bahrain’s premier international event. It was cancelled in 2011 as the Arab Spring uprising engulfed the Gulf kingdom. In 2012, it went ahead despite huge demonstrations.

Yesterday’s protest, authorised by the government, included a march a mile long.