Dubai, Feb 15 (AP) Security forces in Bahrain firedtear gas and bird shot today on mourners gathered for afuneral procession for a man killed in the firstEgypt-inspired protests to reach the Gulf, killing at leastone other person and sharply raising the chances for furtherunrest.
Officials at Bahrain''s Salmaniya Medical Complex, themeeting point for thousands of mourners, said a 31-year-oldman died from injuries from bird shot fired during the meleein the hospital''s parking lot.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity becausethey were not allowed to speak to journalists.
The latest death raises the possibility of morerallies and challenges to the ruling Sunni monarchy inBahrain, a strategic Western ally and home to the US Navy''s5th Fleet.
After the clash, riot police eventually withdrew andallowed the funeral cortege for 21-year-old Ali AbdulhadiMushaima to proceed from the hospital, the main state-runmedical facility in Bahrain''s capital Manama.
Mushaima was killed yesterday during clashes withsecurity forces trying to halt marches to demand greaterfreedoms and political rights. At least 25 people were injuredin the barrage of rubber bullets, bird shot and tear gas,family members said.
A statement from Bahrain''s interior minister, Lt GenRashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, expressed "sincere condolencesand deep sympathy" to Mushaima''s family.
He stressed that the death will be investigated andcharges would be filed if authorities determined excessiveforce was used against the protesters.
But that''s unlikely to appease the protesters, whose"day of rage" coincided with major anti-governmentdemonstrations in Iran and Yemen.
In the past week, Bahrain''s rulers have attempted toundermine calls for reform by promising nearly USD 2,700 foreach family and pledging to loosen state controls on themedia. (AP)