x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bahrain holds 3 over mosque bomb

Three suspects linked to a car bomb that exploded outside a Sunni mosque south of the capital Manama have been arrested, the Bahraini government says.

Three suspects linked to a car bomb that exploded outside a Sunni mosque south of the capital Manama have been arrested, the Bahraini government said yesterday.

"Three people suspected of involvement in the terrorist act that took place near Sheikh Isa bin Salman mosque in Rifaa have been arrested," the interior ministry said.

The royal court is situated in the same area where the bomb, made from a gas cylinder, exploded late on Wednesday without causing casualties.

The ministry said the suspects had been referred to the public prosecution.

It did not say when the arrests had been made. The bomb attack drew condemnation from the authorities in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom, as well as from the Shiite-led opposition.

Al Wefaq, the opposition formation, said it rejected the use of violence to resolve Bahrain's political crisis, which hit a deadlock after security forces crushed month-long demonstrations in March 2011. The authorities have made arrests since the explosion and beefed up security on roads leading to villages around Manama that are populated by the country's Shiite majority.

Also yesterday, the home of a member of parliament was attacked with petrol bombs for the second time in a week.

The attack on the home of Abbas Isa Al Madi, chairman of parliament's services committee, follows one on July 15 in which was no one was hurt. Severe fire damage to walls surrounding the house was recorded.

Protests remain frequent in Shiite villages despite the 2011 crackdown. Several people were wounded on Friday, including a policeman "shot with a home-made gun," in clashes between security forces and anti-regime protesters.

The interior ministry banned a rally that had been planned by the opposition for Friday afternoon.

National reconciliation talks between the government and opposition parties have made little progress since they began in February. Instead, residents point to an increase in the use of homemade bombs, including fire bombs, in recent months against security forces and sometimes public officials.

 

* With additional reporting by Reuters