Bahrain court issues death sentence over 2016 bombing

Another defendant is sentenced to life in jail over attack that killed a women in Shiite-majority village
By AFP
Mon 19 Jun 2017 08:05 PM

A Bahrain court on Monday sentenced to death one person and another to life in prison over a 2016 bombing that killed a woman in a Shiite-majority village.

The state-run news agency BNA said the pair, who were also stripped of their citizenship, were among 10 people convicted on a string of charges including murder.

All 10 defendants were found guilty on charges of "possession of explosives and weapons" and of training to use them "with the intent to commit terrorist crimes", BNA said.

They were also found guilty in the "aiding and abetting a fugitive accused of a terrorist act," the agency added without elaborating.

Seven of the defendants were sentenced to three years in jail each, while the last one was handed a fine, BNA said. 

The news agency did not give further details on the defendants.

The interior ministry did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

A woman was killed and three children wounded when their car was hit by shrapnel from a bomb in a restive Shiite-majority district outside the Bahraini capital, Manama, on June 30, 2016.

Authorities say the bomb, which exploded in the village of East Akar, had targeted a police patrol that was passing through the area.

East Akar is one of a string of suburban areas that have seen persistent unrest since Bahrain's Sunni minority rulers crushed Shiite-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister in 2011.

Hundreds of protesters have since been jailed and a number of high-profile leaders stripped of their citizenship as authorities continue to tighten their grip on dissent.

Bahraini courts also dissolved the country's two main opposition movements, the secular Waad and Shiite Al-Wefaq.

On Monday the court also accused the 10 defendants of "communication with a foreign country," according to BNA.

Bahraini authorities have blamed "terrorist cells" backed by Shiite-dominated Iran for the unrest, a claim denied by Tehran.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain lies just across the Gulf from Iran and is connected by a causeway to Sunni Saudi Arabia.

The archipelago is the home to the US Fifth Fleet.

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