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Bahrain violence escalates as police and expatriate worker targeted

(Xinhua)

10:03, February 21, 2012

MANAMA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Anti-government protestors in Bahrain Monday clashed heavily with security forces after the funeral of a Bahraini, who set himself on fire earlier this week.

Protestors also attacked a police officer and an expatriate worker as violence escalated in the tiny island.

Vandals blocked roads and started rioting as riot police dispersed them with tear gas in Jidhafs, Sanabis and adjoining areas.

The mourners attended the funeral of Hussain Baqali. Police said he set himself on fire following a row with his parents, an allegation denied by the opposition and protestors.

Later in the evening, the general director of Central Governorate Police said they arrested four thugs who attacked a police officer's home in East Ekar.

"The thugs attacked the house several times and hurled Molotov cocktails at it," said the general director.

"The road to the house was also blocked to hinder emergency vehicles from reaching the area."

One of the officer's children sustained burns from Molotov cocktails that were thrown at him. He was referred to hospital for treatment. The officer's house and several cars were also damaged.

The official said that a police investigation was launched which led to the identification and arrest of the four suspects. They were referred to the Public Prosecution.

The Interior Ministry said that an Asian man sustained serious injuries after he was attacked by masked youth in Sanabis, one of the most disturbed areas that witnesses daily clashes.

Sources told Xinhua that the Asian national has lived in the area for 15 years, but some unruly youth thought he was a policeman and attacked him.

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