Bahrain: Boy killed by police tear-gas canister

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The Independent Online

A boy of 14 died after being hit by a police tear-gas canister in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in Bahrain yesterday, human rights activists said.

Ali Jawad Ahmad was among the crowd in the oil hub of Sitra when he was hit by a tear-gas canister fired at close range, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights said. The death was confirmed by Bahraini officials but they gave no further details.

The interior ministry said there was no police action in Sitra at the time the teenager's death was reported. It said an investigation had been ordered and posted a 10,000 dinar (£16,000) reward for information.

Isa Hassan, an uncle of the dead boy, claimed that police over-reacted when confronted by a small group of protesters after morning prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mr Hassan said the tear gas was fired from 20ft away directly at protesters. "They are supposed to lob the canisters of gas, not shoot them at people," he said at Ali's funeral.

Bahrain has been gripped by continuing clashes between police and Shia-led protesters demanding greater rights.