Bahrain blast wounds two civilians on uprising anniversary

The authorities have banned the Shia opposition and handed long jail terms to many of its leaders

Afp February 15, 2017
Bahraini authorities have intensified their crackdown on opposition despite repeated appeals by international rights groups. PHOTO: AFP

DUBAI: An explosion wounded two civilian passers-by in Bahrain, the interior ministry said on Wednesday, as demonstrators were marking the sixth anniversary of an anti-government uprising that was bloodily suppressed.

The ministry did not say what caused Tuesday evening's blast in a village outside the capital Manama but demonstrators sometimes throw petrol bombs during the sporadic protests that still grip the Sunni-ruled but Shia-majority kingdom.

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The ministry said on its Twitter account without elaborating:

The blast came as demonstrators clashed with police in Manama and several nearby villages. The demonstration in the capital ended when police fired tear gas and stun grenades, witnesses said. Activists posted pictures of injured protesters online, but the interior ministry has not published any official statements about the reported demonstrations.

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The Shia-led protests of February 2011 sought a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister to replace the current government dominated by the ruling Al-Khalifa family. Authorities crushed them the following month with the support of Saudi-led forces who secured key installations.

Since then, the authorities have banned the Shia opposition and handed long jail terms to many of its leaders. Some have been stripped of their citizenship. Tiny but strategic Bahrain lies just across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.


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