MANAMA, Bahrain — Riot police in Bahrain have fired tear gas at demonstrators after clashes erupted just hours before the release of an independent report on the Gulf nation's unrest.

The unrest reflects the tense backdrop in the tiny island nation ahead of the report, which includes investigations into alleged abuses by security forces after the Gulf's largest Arab Spring uprising began in February.

Wednesday's street battles broke out after a 44-year-old man died when his car crashed into a house earlier in the day. Protesters say he swerved to avoid security vehicles. Bahrain's government says it's investigating.

The report is expected to cast a harsh light on Bahraini Sunni authorities. But Shiite-led opposition groups insist they will not be satisfied unless top-level officials are implicated.