Middle East

Clashes disrupt memorial service for slain Bahrain teenager

Protesters holding Molotov cocktails run toward riot police during clashes in the village of Sanabis.

MANAMA: Protesters clashed with Bahraini police Tuesday at a memorial service for a teenager killed last week in demonstrations marking the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising, witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of people who gathered in the Shiite-populated village of Daih, near Manama, to pay tribute to Hussein al-Jaziri.

The 16-year-old was killed in Daih Thursday as rallies were staged on the anniversary of the start of the uprising on Feb. 14, 2011. A policeman was also killed on the same day at Al-Sahla village, also near the capital.

Protesters called Tuesday for the ouster of Bahrain’s king, shouting “Down Hamad,” witnesses said.

The Interior Ministry, in a message posted on Twitter, said security forces dispersed “saboteurs” who had briefly blocked traffic on a road near Manama after the memorial service.

Clashes broke out Saturday at the funeral of Jaziri with police also using tear gas against mourners, witnesses had said.

Jaziri died after being shot in the stomach by security forces, according to Al-Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition bloc, during Shiite-led protests against the kingdom’s Sunni rulers.

The policeman died after he was hit by a Molotov cocktail during clashes in Al-Sahla, the Interior Ministry said.

Tuesday’s unrest came as two Sunni factions said they were suspending participation in talks with Shiite opposition groups due to a spike in violence.

Al-Saff Al-Islami and Al-Minbar Al-Islami said they were boycotting Wednesday’s session to protest the “silence” of the opposition following the latest violence.

Bahrain has seen two years of political upheaval linked to opposition demands for a real constitutional monarchy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 20, 2013, on page 9.




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