More than 200,000 Bahraini protesters have taken to the streets in the biggest demonstration for democracy since the first anniversary of pro-reform agitation was marked in February.

The protests brought together the opposition and included political parties, youth groups, human rights societies and religious bodies.

The march stretched for miles. It has been described as one of the largest gatherings in the country since the beginning of the year.

The mass protest was organised in response to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa's claims that the opposition represented a small minority and not represent the people.

Activists welcomed the huge turnout and described the demonstration as largely peaceful.

"A group of protesters, who tried to break away from the main route and head towards Farouk junction, were prevented from doing so by the security forces." Dominic Kavakeb, an activist for the Justice and Development Movement, a Bahraini organisation, told IBTimes UK.

Farouk junction formerly called Pear Square, was one of the main rallying points during the mass protests that erupted early in 2011, which were broken up in a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime.

"There have been reports of the security forces using teargas, but all in all the event has remained largely peaceful", he added.

The population of the Persian Gulf state is 1.34 million, with nearly 700,000 described as non-nationals.