Friday, March 25, 2011

Bahraini senior killed with teargas

Source: Press TV

One person has been killed after Bahraini security forces fired teargas to break up an anti-government protest rally near the capital, Manama.

Bahrain's leading Shia opposition group al-Wefaq said on Friday that Isa Abdullah, 71, died from asphyxiation inside his home in Maameer village after teargas fumes leaked into his house.

"His village Maameer was attacked heavily by teargas. His family called the emergency room but there was no response from Salmaniya hospital," Reuters quoted al-Wefaq leader Mattar Ibrahim Mattar as saying.

His death brought the number of those killed since the start of the protests to at least 24.

Despite heavy security presence and a ban on demonstrations, thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets across Bahrain following the Friday Prayers, demanding an end to almost 200 years of the Sunni-led monarchy.

Bahraini security dispersed the crowds using teargas, buckshots and stun grenades. Many protesters are reported to be injured.

A prominent Shia cleric said their campaign for political reforms would not be silenced by "brutal force'' and that they would continue their protest rallies until their demands are met.

"The brutal force and abusive language being deployed against us will never destroy our will and desire to achieve our rights and dignity,'' Sheik Isa Qassim said in a sermon in Duraz -- an opposition stronghold northwest of Manama.

Meanwhile, Bahrain authorities dismissed suggestions for an international investigation into the deaths of protesters or the police attack on wounded protesters at the country's main hospital, AP reported.

Bahrain's acting health minister, Fatima al-Balooshi, said in Geneva that Bahrain is conducting its own investigation into the violence and denied reports that some protesters who were injured in the government crackdown were questioned and beaten by police while recovering in Salmaniya Hospital.

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