DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini teenager was killed during clashes with police on Thursday night, opposition activists said, and the government of the restive Gulf Arab state said it was investigating the cause of death.
The island’s Shi‘ite majority are demanding more political rights and an end to discrimination from the monarchy, which put down a pro-democracy uprising earlier this year. Many Shi‘ite areas are witnessing almost nightly clashes with police.
Ahmed Jaber died from severe respiratory and blood flow problems after he was received in hospital, an Interior Ministry statement said, without saying what caused this.
The government’s Information Affairs Authority said the area where Jaber was from, Abu Saiba, west of Manama, saw clashes that evening. It said youths blocked roads and set fire to rubbish bins and police fired tear gas and sound grenades when they were attacked with rocks and petrol bombs.
It said prosecutors were investigating the case.
Shi‘ite activists said Jaber, who they said was 16 years old, died from bird-shot pellets and distributed a photo of his body in a morgue.
“(He) was shot by the security forces at close proximity during a protest with the pellet shotgun, which seems to have penetrated his heart and/or lung and caused his death,” said Maryam Al-Khawaja of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) in a statement.
Around 30 people, mainly Shi‘ites, died when the protest movement erupted in February but ongoing clashes and deaths in police custody have taken the total to over 40, the BCHR says.
Writing by Andrew Hammond