Bahrain policeman killed in unrest
A Bahraini police officer has been killed as protests and violence continue in the Gulf kingdom.
The interior ministry reported the officer's death late on Thursday night.
The death was Thursday's second. In the morning a 16-year-old protester died after police shot him in the stomach. Several others were reportedly wounded.
The protests were held to mark the second anniversary of the start of demonstrations against the rule of the country's Sunni royal family.
On Friday thousands of anti-government marchers blocked a major road, the Boudaya highway, leading into the capital Manama. For a second day clashes broke out between security forces and protesters.
Police chief Tariq Hassan al-Hassan said that the police officer, Mohammed Asif, died after being struck by a projectile.
"While Asif and several other police officers were securing roads a group of rioters attacked with Molotov cocktails, steel rods and stones."
He called it an "unprovoked attack".
The protests and violence come as the government and opposition start a national dialogue aimed at easing the country's crisis. The majority Shia community in Bahrain is pressing for greater political rights.
On 14 February 2011, peaceful protesters took over an iconic Bahraini monument, Pearl Roundabout. Three days later security forces cleared the site using tear gas, batons and birdshot. At least two protesters died and hundreds were injured.
As violence escalated 35 people, including five police officers, were killed, hundreds more were hurt and thousands jailed in February and March 2011.
The vast majority were Shia Muslims in a country ruled by a minority Sunni royal family.
Since then, opposition and human rights activists say another 45 people have been killed, a figure which the government disputes.
Although many people have been released, 13 activists and politicians including the leader of the secular Waad party, Ibrahim Sharif, remain in jail.
They have been convicted and in some cases given life sentences on evidence that is widely accepted to have been obtained under torture.