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Tue 15 Feb 2011 12:41 PM

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Clashes erupt at Bahrain protester's funeral

Second person reported killed in fresh clashes with security forces, Bahrain says to look into use of force

Clashes erupt at Bahrain protester's funeral
BAHRAIN PROTESTS: Police in Bahrain used teargas to break up the funeral procession of a Shiite protester killed in clashes on an anti-government ‘Day of Rage’, witnesses said on Tuesday (Getty Images)
Clashes erupt at Bahrain protester's funeral
Bahrain protests, February 14
Clashes erupt at Bahrain protester's funeral
Bahrain protests, February 14
Clashes erupt at Bahrain protester's funeral
Bahrain protests, February 14

Police in
Bahrain used teargas to break up the funeral procession of a Shi'ite protester
killed in clashes on an anti-government ‘Day of Rage’, witnesses said on
Tuesday, and another person was reported to have died.

The
22-year-old protester was shot and killed on Monday in clashes in the village
of Daih as security forces clamped down on Shi'ite areas in the Gulf Arab
kingdom, where a Sunni family rules over a Shi'ite majority.

"They
were dispersed with teargas close to the hospital and then gathered again,"
said Ibrahim Mattar, a member of parliament from the Shi'ite opposition group
Wefaq.

Diplomats
say Bahrain's protests, organised on Facebook and Twitter, would help gauge
whether a larger base of Shi'ites can be drawn onto the streets to heighten
pressure on the government for reforms that would give Shi'ites a greater
voice.

Analysts say
large-scale unrest in Bahrain could also embolden marginalised Shi'ites in
nearby Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter.

Mattar said
a second protester had died on Tuesday but that it was not clear whether he was
killed on Tuesday or died of wounds sustained during Monday's protests. Arab
satellite television channel Al Jazeera reported he was killed in clashes at
the funeral procession.

Bahrain's
Ministry of Interior said on Twitter it had offered condolences to the family
of the protester killed on Monday and would take legal action if the use of
force was found to be unjustified.

Bahrain
offered cash payouts in the run-up to the ‘Day of Rage’ protest on February 14,
a move appeared aimed at preventing Shi'ite discontent from boiling over into
Egyptian- and Tunisian-style "people power" revolts.

Bahrain is a
small non-OPEC oil-producer whose Shi'ite population has long complained of
discrimination by the ruling Sunni al-Khalifa family.

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