A 16-year-old boy has been killed in clashes with riot police in Bahrain.
Husam al-Haddad died of injuries suffered after he was beaten by security forces in a confrontation late Friday night, according to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR).
The Gulf kingdom’s interior ministry confirmed the teenager’s death, but said the boy sustained his injuries after attacking police with molotov cocktails.
In a statement issued by the ministry, Bahraini officials said the security forces were merely following procedures and called al-Haddad a “terrorist”.
According to activist accounts given to the BCHR, al-Haddad was shot with shotgun pellets, and a family member said the youth was kicked repeatedly by a man in civilian clothing in front of security forces. When a family member was able to retrieve him, al-Haddad was soaked in blood, according to a witness.
The teenager’s death brings the number of people who have died since protests calling for political reform began in February 2011 to 50.
Also on Friday, dozens of protesters in the village on Sitra, south of the capital, participated in global al-Quds day protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people, with police firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
The events came one day after Nabeel Rajab, a prominent activist and head of the BCHR, was sentenced to threeyears in prison for instigating and participating in anti-government rallies.
Rajab has led many protests against the wide powers of the Sunni dynasty which the Shia majority accuses of discrimination.