SHAFAQNA – Fresh clashes have broken out in Bahrain as police attacked the funeral processions held for a teenager recently killed by regime force during an anti-regime protest.
The funeral ceremonies held in the villages of Karbabad and al-Hillah near the capital Manama turned violent when regime forces intervened and fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mourners.
Manama’s forces also prevented a group of the mourners from entering the Hillah cemetery, where slain teenager Mustafa Hamdan, 17, had been laid to rest.
The Interior Ministry had already deployed armored vehicles and additional troops to Karbabad, Hamdan’s native village, and Hillah to suppress potential mass funerals.
Similar clashes were reported between anti-regime protesters and Manama’s troops in Bilad al-Qadeem, a Manama suburb. Bahraini forces also made a number of arrests during the scuffles.
On March 24, Hamdan died of bullet wounds to his head sustained during the regime forces’ attack on a sit-in protest in solidarity with prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim in January.
Sheikh Qassim, who was stripped of his nationality last June, is standing trial on a number of charges denounced by the opposition as fabricated and unjust.
Since early 2011, Bahrain has been rocked by a popular uprising against the Saudi-backed House of Khalifah. The protesters want an end to the dynasty’s long-running rule and the establishment of a democratic political system.
The anti-regime protests have, however, been met with a heavy-handed crackdown backed by Saudi and Emirati troops.
Scores of people have so far been killed and many others have ended behind bars, in a clampdown which has drawn harsh criticism from prominent human rights groups.