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Thousands in Bahrain march in youngster funeral

Arab World Materials 1 September 2011 22:34
Thousands of Bahrainis took part Thursday in a funeral procession for a 14 year-old boy who relatives claim was killed by the police a day earlier in the village of Sitra village, south west of the capital Manama, dpa reported.
Thousands in Bahrain march in youngster funeral

Thousands of Bahrainis took part Thursday in a funeral procession for a 14 year-old boy who relatives claim was killed by the police a day earlier in the village of Sitra village, south west of the capital Manama, dpa reported.

The police has repeatedly denied responsibility for his death and has vowed to investigate further.

Thousands of mourners had surrounded the cemetery since early morning as they waited for the body of Ali Jawad al-Sheikh to be handed over to the family.

Relatives and fellow protesters insist that al-Sheikh, who died on the first day of Eid celebrations for Bahraini Shiites, was shot at close range while being chased by an anti-riot police vehicle.

"I saw two boys coming out of the ally running and seconds later I saw a police car coming behind them at high-speed with one policeman holding a gun from the car open sun-roof," a witness, who wished not to be named, said.

"The car made a turn as it got close to them and the policeman fired what appeared to be tear-gas. When the smoke cleared I saw the boy injured and being carried away by his friend."

The country's Ministry of Interior on Thursday reaffirmed that no clashes had been taken place in the area at the time the incident took place.

A ministry spokesman said forensic examinations showed that the lethal injuries the boy sustained could not have been caused by a tear-gas round.

The police is offering a financial reward to anyone who provides information that may help with the investigation.

Protests in favour of political reform and greater freedoms in Sunni-ruled, Shi'ite majority Bahrain began on February 14.

More than 30 civilians are believed to have died in the government's subsequent crackdown while thousands others - mainly Shiites - have been detained.

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