Bahraini police clashed with protesters in at least two Shiite villages as tensions escalated ahead of Wednesday's release of a report on government misconduct during a protest crackdown, activists said.
Early morning protests erupted in village of Aali on the outskirts of the capital Manama, where rights activists and an Agence France Presse correspondent said police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators.
A Bahraini man was killed when his car crashed into a wall as police confronted the protesters, according to the activists.
"I saw the police attack. There were a few dozen protesters shouting and chanting. The police attacked them with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound bombs," said Mohammed Maskati, head of the Bahraini Youth Society for Human Rights.
Nabil Rajab, a Shiite rights and opposition activist said the victim, Abdelnabi Kadhim, was "apparently not protesting. He was in his car when then police chased after him."
In an online tweet, the interior ministry said a man died in a traffic accident in Aali, adding an investigation was underway. The tweet made no mention of police involvement.
An AFP correspondent in Aali said dozens of men and women chanted "Hamad must fall," referring to the Sunni king whose family has ruled the Shiite-majority kingdom for some 250 years.
The smell of tear gas wafted through the air and the streets were littered with empty tear gas canisters and sandals, abandoned by protesters as they fled the police.
Clashes also erupted in the Shiite island of Sitra where mourners protested the November 19 death of a 16-year-old boy killed after being struck by a police car.
The police at the time said the boy's death was an accident after a police car lost control and struck him.
The clashes occurred just hours before the much-anticipated release of a report by the Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was commissioned by the king to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in the bloody crackdown in February and March on anti-government protesters.
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