FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE, MAY 28 -- Police opened fire today on demonstrating students and teachers, killing a 14-year-old student on the doorstep of his home, witnesses said.

Hospitals reported at least three people were seriously wounded in the incident, which began when police opened fire with tear gas to disperse some students and teachers demonstrating for better pay and larger student allowances. The protesters responded by pelting police with stones.

Witnesses said the slain student, Yakuba Bah, was struck by police gunfire while standing at his front door. There was no immediate comment from officials.

It was unclear what prompted the shooting.

It was the second such clash between teachers and police in a week. On Thursday, teachers and students rampaged through the city fighting with police. Several teachers were arrested and most teachers have refused to return to work since that incident.

The trouble began when police broke up a meeting of teachers who wanted to replace their government-controlled union with an independent body.

Government sources said the administration has increased student allowances and was paying overdue student grants. The government also planned to increase teacher allowances.

Sierra Leone's government is near bankruptcy and has been forced to reduce spending. On several occasions teachers and other government employees have not been paid on time.