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Group calls for ouster of Bahrain's monarchy

Bahraini protesters celebrates at the Pearl roundabout soon after the military pulled out in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. The deputy chief of Bahrain's armed forces has ordered the military to withdraw from the streets of the capital. Army tanks are moving out of Manama's Pearl Square as Bahrain's monarchy seeks to open negotiations with protesters. (Hassan Ammar)

February 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A group of protesters in Bahrain is calling for the ouster of the country's entire ruling monarchy, though it's unclear how much weight the group carries.

A manifesto Monday from a group calling itself "Youth of Feb. 14" - after the day of the first marches - apparently seeks to raise the stakes of demands ahead of possible talks between the opposition and the monarchy.

Bahrain's rulers have offered talks with the opposition groups to try and prevent a showdown.The Al Khalifa royal dynasty has been in power for 200 years and has strong backing from other Gulf Arab leaders.

Tensions are still high in Bahrain after seesaw battles that saw riot police open fire on protesters trying to reclaim landmark Pearl Square last week.

Since the protests began, at least eight people have been killed and hundreds injured.

Meantime, the March 13 season-opening Formula One race, the kingdom's biggest international event, has been called off because of protests, according to organizers. The event has been hosted annually since 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.