DUBAI, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Crowds of mourners confronted police in Bahrain on Saturday after a teenage protester was killed by a police car, residents said, heightening tensions in the Gulf state where majority Shi'ites are demanding more political rights.
The 16-year-old was run over late on Friday by the police car at a protest in an area near a U.S. base, residents and a human rights group said. The state news agency BNA said a police vehicle lost control and hit the youth because protesters had poured oil on streets to disrupt traffic.
The island's Shi'ite Muslim majority are demanding more political rights and an end to what they say is discrimination practised by the Sunni-dominated monarchy, which put down a pro-democracy uprising earlier this year. Many Shi'ite areas are witnessing almost nightly clashes with security forces.
Police sealed off the village of Sitra, the main site of the memorial gathering, and fired tear gas to try to turn back long queues of cars carrying protesters.
"Police are using tear gas to disperse the protesters and hitting some cars," a resident told Reuters by telephone.
Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, posted on Twitter photographs of cars he said had been damaged by security forces. "All roads to Sitra are blocked and people are taking secondary roads. All roads are packed," Rajab said.
He said several people had been wounded but it was not clear how many.
There was no immediate comment by officials.
"Sixteen-year-old Ali Yousif Al Satrawi was run over last night by Bahrain security forces at Juffair and died at the scene. This comes after several videos emerged of attempts by riot police to run over protesters," the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said on its website.
The agency BNA said: "A police patrol vehicle skidded due to the spilled oil and hit him, causing his death on the spot. The rioters earlier took to the streets ... committing acts of sabotage and pouring oil."
Opposition groups say heavy-handed police tactics are worsening tension in the streets. Hundreds of Shi'ites were dismissed from their jobs over suspected roles in the protests and many remain in police detention.
About 30 people, mainly Shi'ites, were killed when the protest movement began in February but further clashes and deaths in police custody have taken the total to more than 40, the BCHR says. (Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; editing by Elizabeth Piper)