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Protesters clash with police at Bahrain Shiite memorial service

By Agencies - Feb 19,2013 - Last updated at Feb 19,2013

MANAMA — Protesters clashed with Bahraini police on Tuesday at a memorial service for a teenager killed last week in demonstrations marking the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising, witnesses told Agence France-Presse.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of people who gathered in the Shiite-populated village of Daih, near Manama, to pay tribute to Hussein Al Jaziri, the witnesses said according to AFP.

The 16-year old was killed in Daih on Thursday as rallies were staged on the anniversary of the start of the uprising on February 14, 2011. A policeman was also killed on the same day at Al Sahla village, also near the capital.

Protesters on Tuesday called for the ouster of Bahrain’s king, shouting “Down Hamad,” according to the witnesses.

The interior ministry, in a message posted on Twitter, said security forces dispersed “saboteurs” who had briefly blocked traffic on a road near Manama after the memorial service.

Clashes broke out on Saturday at the funeral of Jaziri with police also using tear gas against mourners, witnesses had said.

Jaziri died after being shot in the stomach by security forces, according to Al Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition bloc, during Shiite-led protests against the kingdom’s Sunni rulers.

The police officer died after he was hit by a petrol bomb during clashes in Al Sahla, the interior ministry said.

Meanwhile, two Sunni factions in Bahrain say they are suspending participation in talks with Shiite opposition groups because of a spike in violence in the Gulf nation’s two-year-old uprising, according to The Associated Press.

The moves are unlikely to disrupt the overall negotiations between Bahrain’s Sunni rulers and the Shiite opposition bloc, but it reflects the high level of tension confronting attempts at dialogue.

In letters issued Tuesday, the groups Al Saff Al Islami and Al Minbar Al Islami say they are protesting the widespread clashes last week during the second anniversary of the uprising, AP reported.

Al Saff is led by a former intelligence officer. The other represents the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bahrain’s majority Shiites are seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the US navy’s 5th Fleet. Talks resume Wednesday.

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