Teen killed in protests on Bahrain revolt anniversary

Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:08pm EST
 
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By Sami Aboudi

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahraini security forces killed a teenager and injured dozens more protesters on Thursday, an opposition website said, during clashes on the second anniversary of an uprising to demand democratic reforms in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state.

Several hundred demonstrators, mostly youths from largely Shi'ite villages, blocked roads around the capital Manama and hurled stones and fire bombs at police, who responded with birdshot and tear gas, witnesses said.

Security forces confirmed they had fired warning shots at the crowds and one young man had been killed in the protests, which began in the early morning and lasted almost all day.

The Interior Ministry said a security official was killed in a "terrorist attack" using what it said was an inflammable projectile, according to a statement on its Twitter account.

The clashes were the most violent in recent months and could mar talks that began on Sunday between mostly Shi'ite Muslim opposition groups and the Sunni-dominated government to try to end political deadlock in Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Bahrain has seen almost daily demonstrations in the run-up to the anniversary of the revolt, which has put the kingdom on the front line of a region-wide tussle for influence between Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Arab states such as Saudi Arabia.

Mass protests that erupted in February 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring were crushed, but small demonstrations demanding greater rights for Bahrain's Shi'ite majority and an end to the absolute power of the Sunni ruling family have continued.

Bahrain's chief of public security, Brigadier-General Tariq Al Hassan, said police had fired warning shots on Thursday to disperse a crowd that had attacked them with fire bombs, stones and iron rods, injuring several, some seriously.   Continued...

 
Anti-government protesters, one of them holding a Bahraini flag, run to take cover from tear gas fired by riot police to disperse them during clashes in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed