[QODLink]
Middle East

Bahraini teenager dies after 'fleeing police'

Sixteen-year-old hit by car while trying to flee from security forces as thousands gathered for prayers.
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2012 11:56
Witnesses said security forces fired teargas and blocked roads to stop thousands from joining Friday prayers [Reuters]

A 16-year-old boy has been hit by a car and killed after running onto a busy road while being chased by security forces, opposition and human rights activists said.

The interior ministry said the boy, who the opposition named as Ali Radhi, was killed in a "traffic accident" on a highway not far from the village of Diraz, west of Manama.

Maryam al-Khawaja, acting head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said on her Twitter account: "Confirmed from several eyewitnesses: Ali Radhi was chased by riot police... he went onto the highway to run away, was hit by a civilian car. We hold the Ministry of Interior responsible for his death."

Al Wefaq, the main opposition group, had called on protesters to join weekly prayers on Friday.

Witnesses said security forces fired teargas and blocked roads to stop thousands from joining the prayers.

The group said Radhi was killed as he headed to Diraz to attend prayers led by Shia spiritual leader Sheikh Issa Qassim, answering the call by Al Wefaq, the organisation said on its Twitter page.

Al Wefaq posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter showing worshippers trying to reach Diraz as police allegedly blocked roads to the village, preventing media and non-residents from entering the Shia village.

Elderly people can be seen in the pictures collapsed on the ground after allegedly being hit by tear gas.

Protest ban

Bahraini authorities were not immediately available to comment on Friday, but the call for mass prayers appeared to flout a ban on rallies and protests announced by the interior ministry last month.

Footage posted on YouTube that could not be independently verified showed a teargas canister going off inside a car carrying women who activists said were on their way to the prayers.

One woman was seen collapsing on the ground after exiting the vehicle.

Last year's protests were initially crushed by the kingdom's Sunni Muslim monarchy, with martial law and help from Gulf neighbours. But smaller demonstrations have since resumed and anti-government protesters clash with security forces several times a week.

The violence has intensified in recent weeks. On Monday, the government said five home-made bombs killed two people in Manama.

Bahrain's government said on Wednesday it had revoked the nationality of 31 men for damaging national security, including leading dissidents, parliamentarians, clerics and human rights lawyers.

345

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
An estimated 36 people die each day in embattled town where pro-Russia rebel separatists fight Ukrainian soldiers.
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
join our mailing list