DUBAI  - A man and a woman died of asphyxiation caused by tear gas grenades fired by Bahrain’s security forces to disperse protests in Shiite villages, the country’s main opposition group said on Saturday. Ahmed Abdul Nabi, 31, died after a tear gas grenade landed in his family’s house in the village of Shahrakan, said a statement by Al-Wefaq, citing family members. The Shiite opposition group said he died due to the “poisoning and asphyxiating gases” used by security forces against Shiite youths, who stage frequent protests against the regime of the Sunni Muslim Al-Khalifa dynasty.
It provided a picture showing a broken window through which the canister is claimed to have entered the house.
Meanwhile, a woman named Abda Ali Abdul Hussein died on Friday after inhaling gases in the village of Jid Hafs, near the Bahraini capital Manama, Wefaq said, again citing family members.
The cause of the deaths could not immediately be confirmed.
Thousands demonstrated on Friday after the Shiite-led opposition called for several simultaneous protests across villages near Manama, in an act of defiance despite a brutal crackdown last March which quelled a month-long uprising demanding democratic change.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday criticised Bahraini forces for their “disproportionate use of force” as they sought to quell protests, saying their use of tear gas may have led to over 30 deaths.
“We have been receiving worrying reports of the disproportionate use of force by Bahraini security forces, including the excessive use of tear gas, the use of birdshot pellets and rubber bullets,” said spokesman Rupert Colville.
According to an independent probe, 35 people were killed in the unrest between mid-February and mid-March 2011.