Bahrain king orders probe into protesters' deaths

MANAMA, BAHRAIN: Bahrain's king announced on Tuesday an investigation into the deaths of two protesters killed in clashes with police, local daily Al-Ayam reported.

A Bahraini mourner was killed on Tuesday in clashes with policemen at the funeral of a protester shot dead during a Monday protest, an interior official said.

Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported on Monday after people participated in anti-government protests across the tiny Gulf nation. Some protesters were treated for injuries after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

Protesters had called for a "Day of Rage" to mark the 10th anniversary of the National Action Charter, which returned the country to constitutional rule after the 1990s uprisings. Initially, people have taken to the streets to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy, but some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, CNN reported.

Speaking on television, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa offered his condolences to the men's families and said authorities will be asked to adopt the necessary legislation to solve the political turmoil.

"Our first concern is the safety of the homeland and our citizens and for everybody to get their rights," said the king, as cited by CNN.

"We will ask the legislative authority to look at this phenomena and to suggest the necessary legislation which will solve this in a way that will benefit the homeland and its citizens," he added.

Authorities and activists say Tuesday's victim was shot by security forces using pellet guns. Activists have decried the use of those weapons at short range by Bahrain's security forces.

Mushaima, who died Monday, was shot protesting for human rights in the village of Daih, near Manama, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said.

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq has suspended its participation in parliament because of the security forces' action, CNN reported

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family, but two-thirds of the population are Shiite. In recent years, younger Shiites have staged violent protests to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption.


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