Portuguese / Spanish / English

Bahrain prevents 'terrorists' fleeing to Iran

File photo of Bahraini police in the capital Manama [Sara Hassan / Al Jazeera / Flickr]
Bahraini police in the capital Manama [Sara Hassan / Al Jazeera / Flickr]

Bahrain said today that it had foiled an attempt by "terrorist fugitives" wanted in connection with a January prison break to flee by sea to Iran.

Security forces foiled the "trafficking" attempt in a dawn operation, a statement published on the interior ministry's Twitter account said.

"Preliminary joint investigation indicates the fugitive boat was heading to Iran," a further message said, adding further details would be announced later.

The ministry said in January that one policeman was killed when armed men attacked the Al-Jau prison in Bahrain, freeing several convicted inmates, describing the incident as a terrorist act.

Thousands of mainly Shia Bahrainis are in jail on charges ranging from participating in anti-government protests to armed attacks on security forces in the Western-allied Gulf kingdom, where the US Fifth Fleet is based.

Read: Shia cleric declares jihad on Bahrain government

Bahrain earlier this month executed three men convicted in the murder of three policemen, including an Emirati officer, in a 2014 bomb attack. Bahrain accuses non-Arab Iran of fanning unrest and supporting militants involved in armed attacks in the island kingdom.

Iranian involvement

Although Tehran denies any involvement in the unrest in Bahrain, political symbols directly linked to Iran have been displayed by Shia Bahraini malcontents. During the botched 2011 uprising, protesters were regularly seen carrying banners displaying images of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After Saudi Arabia and other states from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an Arabian Gulf political, economic and defence alliance that includes Bahrain, intervened to put down the revolution that had turned violent, Iran openly reacted angrily and denounced the deployment of GCC troops.

Also read: Bomb blast rocks Bahraini capital

As a result of the ongoing intractable impasse between the Shia, approximately 50 per cent of Bahrain's population, and the Sunni-ruled Manama authorities, radical discourse has been on the increase.

Last month, Iran-backed Bahraini Shia cleric Murtaza Sindi threatened another revolutionary attempt against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty, and announced the beginning of an armed campaign to overthrow them to cheers and shouts from his followers of "Death to Al Khalifa!"

BahrainIranMiddle EastNews
Show Comments
Show Comments