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Riot police in Bahrain have fired tear gas and stun grenades during clashes with protesters who broke away from a funeral procession for a 17-year-old boy killed during earlier street battles with security forces in the Gulf kingdom.

Thousands of mourners took part in the funeral march, chanting anti-government slogans and waving Bahraini flags.

Later, smaller groups of several hundred demonstrators broke away and hurled stones at police units.

The death of the boy late on Friday could stir more tensions between forces for the Sunni-led monarchy and groups from Bahrain's Shiite majority seeking a greater political voice.

More than 50 people have died including protesters and police, in almost 20 months of political turmoil in the strategic island nation, which is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

The Shiite-led protests are aimed at breaking Sunni minority rulers' monopoly on power in Bahrain. They started in February 2011 and were inspired by other Arab Spring revolts against authoritarian regimes in the region.


Bahrain's largest Shiite political bloc, Al Wefaq, said security forces killed the boy with using bird shot fire - used often by Bahrain riot police - during street clashes in Sadad village, south-west of the capital Manama.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry confirmed one person was killed in what it described as a "terror act" which included firebombs thrown at police.

The Press Association, photo by iraq9