Security forces in Bahrain clashed on Thursday with anti-government protesters in street battles that left at least one boy dead amid high tensions on the second anniversary of the uprising in the Gulf nation, activists said.
The demonstrators also included groups chanting against talks aimed at easing the Arab Spring-inspired unrest in the country, showing the deep divisions even among opposition factions over whether to negotiate or escalate the unrest.
Bahrain’s Shiite majority is seeking a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
More than 55 people have been killed in the two-year unrest, which began with massive marches on Feb. 14, 2011. Some activists place the death toll higher.
The latest death was a 16-year-old boy killed by police bird shot fire early Thursday in the mainly Shiite village of Dih, west of the capital, Manama, said Yousef al-Muhafedha, a rights activist. The main Shiite opposition group Al Wefaq also announced the death.
Street battles broke out before dawn in some Shiite neighborhoods, but opposition groups also have called for a nationwide strike to mark the anniversary.
The Bahrain Center For Human Rights confirmed that Hussain Ali, 16, was killed by police via Twitter. CNN reported his name to be Hussein Ali Ahmed and al Jazeera reported his name to be Hussain al-Jaziri.
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