Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group says it will temporarily boycott talks aimed at easing the Gulf nation's more than two-year unrest because of increased crackdowns by security forces.
Wednesday's decision by Al Wefaq to shun talks for two weeks is seen as a warning to authorities over the future of the dialogue, which is backed by the Bahrain's Western allies.
Talks were revived last year between Bahrain's Shiite leaders and envoys picked by the Sunni monarchy. But the sessions have made little headway to end the uprising by Bahrain's majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.
Al Wefaq and other opposition groups have expressed outrage about a raid last week on the home of the nation's most senor Shiite cleric.
Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.