Teenager shot in Bahrain hours after F1 gets go-ahead

Dubai: A 14-year-old boy was shot in the chest in Bahrain at a post-funeral rally late on Friday and is in critical condition, the opposition said, on the same day that Formula One organisers said the Bahrain Grand Prix motor race would go ahead.

Mohammed Abdul Aziz was wounded by what appeared to be shotgun pellets, and another youth was also in critical condition after being beaten and sustaining injuries to the skull, said a representative of Wefaq, Bahrain`s main opposition group.

A government official said on Saturday the ministry was aware of the reports but could not verify any details. The two were wounded during clashes between police and mourners at the funeral of a man shot during an anti-government protest two weeks ago, in Salmabad just outside the capital Manama, said the Wefaq representative.

Petrol bombs were thrown toward the police, who kept their distance and used tear gas, according to a sources. The clashes happened on the same day that the International Automobile Federation (FIA) gave the green light for the Formula One event, cancelled in Bahrain last year after a violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Bahrain`s Sunni rulers are keen to stage a successful race as part of their efforts to show progress on reforms and reconciliation with the majority Shi`ite community after the protests last year, which were suppressed with the help of troops from neighbouring Saudi Arabia. The crackdown, in which more than 30 people were killed, was condemned by several international human rights groups.

Bureau Report