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Two activists die in Bahraini custody

A Bahraini activist dies in regime custody after reportedly "causing chaos in detention" and receiving several injuries, while another is found dead in his cell

AFP , Sunday 10 Apr 2011
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Two Bahraini Shiite activists detained in the wake of anti-regime protests have died in detention, the Gulf kingdom's interior ministry said on Sunday.

Ali Issa Saqer, 31, died at the hands of prison security guards after "causing chaos in detention," police said in a statement posted on the interior ministry's Twitter page.

"Security men had to intervene to restore security... but he resisted, forcing them to engage him, which resulting in him receiving several wounds," it said.

He died in hospital, police said, without specifying whether he was shot and fatally wounded or had suffered other injuries.

Police said Saqer was arrested on suspicion of having killed policemen by running them over with a car.

The ministry said another detainee, Zakaraya Rashed Hassan, 40, was arrested on April 2 for "inciting hatred against the regime and spreading fabricated news," had been "found dead" in his prison cell.

A post-mortem examination showed sickle cell disease was the cause of death.

The ministry said in late March that 24 people, four of them policemen, were killed in clashes during month-long protests, led by Bahrain's majority Shiites, calling for democratic reform in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Bahrain's security forces crushed protests on the streets on March 16, two days after a joint armoured contingent from its Sunni Gulf neighbours rolled in across a causeway which links the archipelago state to Saudi Arabia.

The Shiite-led opposition says about 400 people have since been arrested.

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