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MANAMA - Bahraini authorities have arrested four Shiite men, including two clerics,

Bahrain, ruled by a Sunni dynasty, has a Shiite majority population

Four Bahraini men arrested for practices 'that would harm stability of kingdom of Bahrain'.

suspected of setting up a network aimed at destabilising the country, a security official said on Sunday.

Three of the arrests were made on Sunday, while the fourth, Abduljalil al-Singace, a leading figure in the Shiite opposition association Haq, was detained late on Saturday, said the official from Bahrain's National Security, cited by the BNA state news agency.

Mohammed Habib Mansur al-Safaf, known as Sheikh Mohammed al-Moqdad, and Saeed Mirza Ahmed, known as Sheikh Saeed al-Nuri, as well as Abdulghani Ali Issa Khanjar, a Shiite activist, were the others arrested.

The four men were taken into custody "over charges of forming with ... Singace and others, an organised network aiming to shake the security and stability of the country," he said, without specifying they were Shiites.

The unnamed official said the network had been involved in "illegal practices and other acts that would harm the stability of the kingdom of Bahrain and its civil peace, as well as endangering lives and properties."

The group was calling for "violence and terrorist acts" while using "places of worship for other than their designated purposes," he charged.

The official said the public prosecution issued a warrant to search Singace's home and belongings, while investigations were ongoing "to uncover the remaining members of the network."

Moqdad and Singace were released from prison in April 2009 in a royal pardon for 178 detainees accused of security charges.

The Gulf archipelago which is ruled by a Sunni dynasty has a Shiite majority population.

Haq, or the Movement of Liberties and Democracy, is a splinter group of the main Shiite formation, the Islamic National Accord Association. It insisted on boycotting elections in 2006 while INAA scooped 17 out of 40 parliament seats.

Bahrain was plagued in the 1990s by a wave of Shiite-led unrest which has abated since the authorities launched steps to convert the Gulf emirate into a constitutional monarchy.

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