Bahrain political prisoners freed

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Thousands of Bahraini mourners participate in a funeral march for a man who died during clashes (AP)

Some political prisoners are to be released in Bahrain as the embattled monarchy tries to engage protesters in talks to ease the week-long demonstrations demanding change.

A leading member of Bahrain’s Shiite opposition, Abdul Jalil Khalil, said the prisoner release was “a good step” and a “positive gesture”.

But Mr Khalil said it will only lead to dialogue if 25 Shiite activists on trial since last year for plotting against the state are among those freed.

It was not clear how many prisoners the king would release.

A prominent opposition figure, Hassan Meshaima, also said he plans to return from London to join the protesters in Manama’s Pearl Square.

Mr Meshaima is the head of a radical Shiite group known as Haq.

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