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Report: Bahrain police search home of top cleric

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May 17, 2013 07:46 AM EST | AP

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MANAMA, Bahrain — A main opposition group in Bahrain says police have searched the home of the Gulf nation's most senior Shiite cleric, who has strongly sided with anti-government protesters.

The reported raid could touch off more clashes on the strategic island nation, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

The group Al Wefaq says security forces entered the home of Shiek Isa Qassim early Friday in Diraz, about 10 kilometers (six miles) west of the capital, Manama. Qassim was not at home at the time, but his family members were present.

The statement said the teams searched the home and left, but police helicopters patrolled the area for hours after.

Bahrain has faced more than two years of unrest amid an uprising by majority Shiites seeking more political rights from Sunni rulers.