|Page (1) of 1 - 08/31/11||email article||print page|
Bahrain activists blame security forces for death of 14-year-old boy during protest
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) ' Bahraini security forces clashed Wednesday with anti-government protesters after morning prayers, killing a 14-year-old boy who died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range, human rights activists said.
The activists blamed the police for the death of Ali Jawad Ahmad, who was among the crowd of protesters in the oil hub of Sitra.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights cited witnesses as saying the boy died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range by police during the demonstration .
Bahraini officials confirmed a 14-year-old lost his life but gave no other details on the possible cause of death. A statement by the Interior Ministry said there was no reported police action in Sitra at the time the boy's death was reported.
It said an investigation was ordered into the death.
Bahrain has been gripped by ongoing clashes between police and Shiite-led protesters demanding greater rights and political freedoms in the tiny Gulf nation that is the home of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
More than 30 people have been killed since protests began in February inspired by other uprisings across the Arab world.
Shiites are the majority in Bahrain but claim widespread discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty, backed by Gulf's Sunni rulers. They fear any concessions by Bahrain's Al Khalifa family to protesters would strengthen the region's Shiite powerhouse Iran.
Small-scale clashes between police and mostly Shiite demonstrators have become a near nightly event in the tense Gulf nation since authorities lifted emergency rule in June.