Bahraini authorities on Sunday executed three Shi'ite Muslim men convicted of killing an Emirati police officer and two Bahraini policemen in a 2014 bomb attack, in a move likely to stoke protests in the restive Gulf island kingdom.
The executions came less than a week after the country's highest court confirmed the punishment against Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali al-Singace, the first death sentences to be carried out since 2010.
State news agency BNA said the men were executed by firing squad in the presence of a judge, doctor and a Muslim cleric.
"Arab Spring" demonstrations led by Bahrain's Shi'ite majority were crushed by the Sunni-ruled government with help from its Gulf Arab neighbours, deepening sectarian rivalry in the war-damaged region.
Authorities last year escalated a crackdown on its Shi'ite critics by imprisoning a top rights campaigner, shuttering the main opposition block and revoking the community's spiritual leader of his citizenship.
Activists condemned the executions and warned the move would undermine security.
"This is a black day in Bahrain's history. It is the most heinous crime committed by the government of Bahrain and a shame upon its rulers ... This act is a security threat to Bahrain and the entire region," said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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