Manchester protesters march against BBC coverage and Gaza bombings

image captionProtests were held in Piccadilly Gardens and at the BBC in Salford

Hundreds of people staged demonstrations to protest against the BBC's coverage of the conflict in the Middle East - and the conflict itself.

Campaigners waving placards amassed outside the BBC's Salford offices on Saturday.

They were angry at what they claim is a pro-Israeli "bias" in the organisation's reporting.

The protest, called Drive for Justice, came as Israel and militants in Gaza traded more rocket and missile-fire.

'Range of voices'

Organisers said the BBC had chosen to focus more on the plight of the Israelis, rather than the Palestinians.

A second rally was organised by the Stop the War Coalition in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens, in protest at what the group says is "the brutal intensification of violence" at hands of the Israelis.

A BBC News spokesman said the organisation was reporting "widely and extensively across TV, radio and online, on many different aspects of this ongoing and complex conflict".

"Our role is to explain what is happening and why, and we endeavour to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views," the spokesman said.

More than 20 anti-war protests were planned around the country over the weekend, according to Stop the War Coalition's website.

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