Bahraini police raid on the hometown of a prominent Shiite cleric facing possible deportation has left at least five demonstrators dead and 286 people arrested in an assault in which officers fired tear gas and shotguns at protesters.

The Interior Ministry said the operation on Tuesday targeting Diraz, home to Sheikh Isa Qassim and a long-running sit-in supporting him, was to "maintain security and public order." It called the area a "haven for wanted fugitives from justice."

Activists shared photographs and videos showing youths throwing stones and climbing on an armored personnel carrier. Gunfire could be heard in one video as white smoke from tear gas hung in the air. Another video showed a bulldozer smashing through the area that once hosted the sit-in.

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