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Dec 28, 3:42 PM EST

Bahrain Shiite leader detained for questioning


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MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- A lawyer for the leader of Bahrain's largest Shiite opposition group said Sunday that Sheik Ali Salman is being held by the Interior Ministry, which is accusing him of inciting hatred against the government and calling for its overthrow by force.

His lawyer Abdullah al-Shamlawi told The Associated Press that the accusations refer to speeches that Salman gave between 2012 and now.

Scattered clashes broke out Sunday evening between protesters and government forces after the al-Wefaq group said its secretary general, Salman, was detained by criminal investigators after more than 12 hours of questioning without his lawyer.

The country's Shiite majority has led protests demanding political reform from the Sunni-led monarchy since February 2011.

The Interior Ministry says Salman's case is being referred to public prosecutors and he could next face official charges.

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