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Bahrain policeman dies from protest injuries

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A Bahraini policeman has died from burns sustained in an April incident authorities described as a "terrorist act", the state news agency BNA said.

BNA quoted a police director late on Thursday as saying the officer had died of "serious burns sustained as a result of a terrorist incident in the area of Karzakan on April 22, 2012".

It said the man died abroad, where he was undergoing treatment, but gave no further details.

On October 19, a 19-year-old policeman also died from injuries sustained when a home-made bomb exploded during clashes with protesters in the Shia village of Akar.

Authorities say two policemen have been killed this month alone.

Thirty-five people were killed in an uprising against the minority Sunni-led government, led by the country's Shia Muslim majority early in 2011, including five security personnel.

The opposition says more than 45 other people have died in political violence since martial law ended in June 2011, a figure disputed by the government.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights, a total of 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the violence began. More than 1,500 policemen have also been wounded.

Regular unrest and demonstrations have shaken Bahrain since it crushed popular protests last year, and the kingdom has come under strong criticism from international rights groups over the deadly crackdown.

Shia complain of discrimination in the electoral system, jobs, housing and education and say they are mistreated by government departments, the police and the army.

Bahrain is a base for the US Fifth Fleet, which patrols oil shipping lanes in the Gulf region.


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