Police killed one person when their patrol was attacked in a village near Bahrain’s capital, the interior ministry said on Saturday, but the opposition accused police of firing on a peaceful protest.
The ministry said that the male person died when the police acted in self-defence from attackers using Molotov cocktails and iron rods while on patrol late Friday in Sadad, a Shiite village near Manama.
“A police patrol… was attacked with huge number of Molotov cocktails and iron rods at 11:20 PM on Friday that targeted the lives of policemen in the jeep,” it said on its website.
“The policemen defended themselves and dealt with the situation according to the legal procedures decided in such cases, in which one of those who were associated in the terror act was injured.
“The medical team that was deployed with the ambulance to the scene pronounced him dead,” said the statement.
But the main opposition Shiite group, Al-Wefaq, said 17-year-old Hussein Nemat was killed when police fired buckshot to break up a protest in the village.
Thousands of people had taken to the streets on Friday in a demonstration to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been in office since 1971 and is hostile to any reforms.
The protest march between the Shiite-populated villages of Dia and Sahla, near the capital, passed off relatively peacefully, although small groups of demonstrators skirmished with the security forces.
The Sunni-ruled kingdom has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, mostly outside the capital, since it crushed a protest movement in a bloody crackdown in March of last year.