STORY: Hundreds of mourners and anti-government protesters gathered for the funeral of 17 year-old Ali Khalil Sabagh in Bahrain on Saturday (October 26).

Sabagh died in a bomb explosion on Tuesday (October 22). Police said he blew himself up as he was transporting a home made bomb.

After the funeral, protesters disrupted traffic on the main highway and clashes erupted with police.

The tiny island state of Bahrain has been in political upheaval since February 2011, when mass protests led by the mostly Shi'ite Muslim opposition were crushed by the Sunni monarchy.

The latest violence came as Bahrain defended its use of teargas.

Local and international rights groups have accused the authorities of using teargas excessively and of firing canisters directly at protesters or into cars and houses where they can cause serious injuries.

A government statement said that protesters' practices of setting fire to car tyres and throwing petrol bombs were more dangerous than the authorities' use of teargas.