Protesters rioted in Bahrain for a third day as minority Shi'ites demanded more rights from the Sunni monarchy in renewed unrest. Riots have erupted regularly over the year since the advent of the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.
Bahrain's King Hamad last Tuesday charged Syria with training opposition figures and provocateurs in his tiny island kingdom.
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa told Britain's Daily Telegraph, "We have evidence that a number of Bahrainis who oppose our government are being trained in Syria .... I have seen the files and we have notified the Syrian authorities, but they deny any involvement."
On Saturday, thousands of protesters lined the Budaiya highway connecting Shi'ite villagers west of the capital, Manama. Police fired tear gas at the demonstrators.
A 73-year-old man, Abdulali Ali Ahmed, was rushed to hospital Saturday morning after struggling to breathe through most of the night. He died Saturday evening, fueling speculation by protesters that tear gas inhalation was the cause of his death.
Disturbances over the issue were severe enough to prompt a statement from the Bahrain Interior Ministry insisting that Ahmed had died of natural causes. Thousands attended Ahmed's funeral, chanting anti-government slogans and demanding more rights for the Shi'ite minority.
Over the past year, the Sunni monarchy has claimed that neighboring Shi'ite Iran has been inciting much of the unrest in Bahrain.