F1: Two hurt in pre-race Bahrain unrest, government says

DUBAI (AFP) - Two people were injured in an overnight attack on police in Bahrain, the authorities said on Saturday, as activists called for a new attempt to march on the capital's former Pearl Square ahead of the Grand Prix.

Preparations for Sunday's Formula One race at the Sakhir circuit in the south were unaffected by the unrest.

"Targeting police patrols with Molotov cocktails on Isa Al-Kabeer road led to injuring two Asians," the interior ministry announced on its Twitter account late on Friday without elaborating. "They were referred to hospital."

The radical February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, a clandestine cyber-group that had called a week-long campaign dubbed "Volcanic Flames", urged supporters on Twitter to march on the focal point of Shi'ite-led protests in early 2011.

"We will march today Saturday towards the epicentre of the revolution," the group announced.

Police on Friday fired tear gas and bird shot to disperse protesters trying to stage a similar march to the roundabout formerly known as Pearl Square before the authorities razed it following a crackdown on the February-March 2011 protests.

Opposition demonstrators have been protesting to highlight pro-reform demands and have urged solidarity from teams taking part in the race.

Supporters of the February 14 movement have campaigned for the race to be cancelled, calling it a "crime".

Sunday's GP is seen as a boost to the image and economy of the tiny Gulf monarchy which has been rocked by continuing Arab Spring-inspired unrest.

Security forces have been on high alert during days of protests to prevent clashes from marring the race, with checkpoints at major intersections, especially on roads leading to the racing circuit.

The month-long protests two years ago in Bahrain, home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, were crushed with the help of Gulf troops led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia. That year's race was cancelled but last year's took place as scheduled despite protests leading up to it.