Dubai: Bahrain police clashed with demonstrators following the death of a young man who attempted to escape arrest, witnesses said Wednesday, days after 20 people were detained across Shiite villages.
It was the latest flare-up of unrest pitting members of the kingdom’s Shiite majority against the Sunni-dominated government.
Residents of the village of Nuwaidrat, south of the capital Manama, took to the streets to protest the death of Abdullah al-Ajouz, 22, who died in a Monday raid aimed at his arrest, the witnesses said.
There were no immediate reports of any casualties in the clashes with police.
Ajouz had been sentenced to life imprisonment on terrorism charges including murder and the making of explosives.
Over the past two weeks, police have arrested 20 residents of Shiite villages in what they have described as a crackdown on “terror cells”.
Bahraini authorities have made sweeping use of counter-terrorism legislation to crack down on dissent since they crushed demonstrations for a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister in 2011.
Sporadic demonstrations have intensified since last week’s anniversary of the launch of the protests.
The police media centre published the names of the 20 people arrested, who include four women. They aged between 20 and 65.
They published photographs of nine of them, including all four women.
Those arrested face charges including “plotting acts of terrorism” and aiding and abetting fugitives.
Eight are accused of having “received military training on arms and the use of explosives in Iran and Iraq”.
The Bahraini authorities have detained scores of people since the 2011 crackdown.
They have banned the Shiite opposition and handed many of its leaders long jail terms, several on “terrorism” charges.
Authorities have put prominent human rights activist Nabil Rajab on trial for tweets deemed hostile to Bahrain and its ally Saudi Arabia. The latest hearing was set for later on Tuesday.
Rajab, who has been denied bail, is also charged with making “false or malicious” accusations against Bahrain in a series of television interviews in which he criticised the government.