BAHRAINI riot police killed a teenager when they fired shotgun pellets during clashes with protesters following a demonstration on Friday, the country’s opposition said yesterday.
Thousands rallied in an authorised protest called by the main opposition group al-Wefaq, but as the event ended around 100 people clashed with police.
Witnesses said riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the breakaway group, who, the authorities said, were throwing petrol bombs and wielding iron bars.
The police described the incident as a “terrorist attack” on a security patrol that “targeted the lives of members of the patrol”.
The police had defended themselves “according to their legal authority”, a statement said, confirming a protester had died.
Al-Wefaq named the dead protester as 17-year-old Ali Hussain Nima and photographs show a body covered in blood and flecked with birdshot wounds.
He is the second protester in six weeks to die at the hands of Bahraini police.
Bahrain, headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since mass demonstrations started at the height of Arab Spring unrest last year, led by its Shia Muslim majority. The protests were put down by the Sunni monarchy, which imposed martial law and asked Saudi Arabia to send troops in support.
In mid-August, a 16-year-old protester was killed in a similar incident, when police opened fire with birdshot during clashes after a demonstration, opposition activists said.
The opposition said more than 45 people have been killed in protests since martial law was lifted in June 2011. The interior ministry said protesters have injured more than 700 police officers and that the authorities have exercised restraint.
The latest death comes a day after the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a Bahraini as the Asia representative to its advisory committee.