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Protesters In Bahrain Deployed A Giant Teddy Bear To Deter Riot Police

It didn't seem to work.

Posted on February 13, 2015, at 4:47 p.m. ET

Protesters and police in cities around Bahrain traded tear gas and petrol bombs back and forth ahead of the anniversary of 2011's pro-democracy uprising. Shops stayed closed as part of a three-day general strike and marches were held around the country.

Hasan Jamali / Via AP

The confrontations between police and civilians were mirrored throughout the country, but Bahraini journalist Mazen Mahdi spotted something unusual at the protest held in the city of Sitra.

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A bear. A giant, stuffed teddy bear being carried around by protestors.

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In the captions of his Instagram photos, Mahdi said the bear was "quickly becoming mascot" of the protests and was there "to place in front of police during clashes."

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The bear was successfully deployed in the face of police cars and armored personnel carriers.

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But whether the bear was successful or not remains up in the air.

@HayesBrown the last I saw he was under clouds of tear gas and facing off with an APC :)

Mazen Mahdi@MazenMahdiFollow

@HayesBrown the last I saw he was under clouds of tear gas and facing off with an APC :)

4:38 PM - 13 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

The next photos in Mahdi's photostream show police cars and APCs storming the protestors.

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The Bahraini government launched a crackdown and enlisted the aid of Saudi Arabia in response to the 2011 protests, which were seen as part of the so-called Arab Spring movement.

Hasan Jamali / Via AP

Bahrain is also home to the U.S.' Fifth Fleet. (Despite that, the U.S.' chief human rights diplomat was expelled for speaking with the opposition last July.)

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