By Joe Murphy
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
MANAMA, Bahrain – Seven on-duty policemen were injured Wednesday night when a homemade bomb was remotely detonated just outside Bahrain’s capital of Manama. All seven policemen were taken to the hospital for treatment with one in critical condition and two others moderately injured according to Colonel Ibrahim Al Sheeb, General Director of Northern Province Police Department. He condemned the attacked and praised the policemen for their bravery.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior also condemned the bomb attack and deemed it a “terrorist act.” The Ministry of Interior’s twitter account reported in two separate posts that a total of ten suspects had been arrested for suspected involvement in the bombing. The posts also stated that the investigation and search for suspects was continuing.
This incident is one of the more severe of its kind in a country which frequently sees protesters, mostly Shi’ite, clash with police and the country’s Sunni rulers. Shi’ite protesters have been pushing for democratic reform and more involvement in government since February 2011 when large scale protests broke out. However, the controlling Sunni government has moved powerfully and swiftly to squash any substantial revolts. At least sixty people including six policemen have been killed in the conflict since the uprising began over two years ago.
The police have accused the “terrorists” of specifically targeting on-duty policemen and increasing their use of homemade explosives since April 2012. Youths around Manama regularly attack police with Molotov cocktails and police respond with stun grenades, tear gas, and bird shot. However, the Shi’ite opposition has frequently accused the police of using excessive force against protesters.
It is evident that tensions are on the rise and the conflict is intensifying after the events of the last few weeks. The attack comes on the heels of the peaceful sit-in last Friday by hundreds of Shi’ite protesters that turned violent after government security forces raided a senior Shi’ite cleric’s home. Shi’ite protesters claim that the raid was in retaliation after the cleric met with U.S. officials. U.S. Ambassador Thomas Krajeski condemned the attack, stressing that dialogue is the only path to reconciliation.
“We strongly condemn this attack on police and extend our deepest sympathies to all those injured. All violence is completely unacceptable and unhelpful in efforts to rebuild trust and pursue meaningful reconciliation in Bahrain,” he said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website.
For further information, please see:
Albawaba News – Bahrain bomb attack injures seven policemen – 30 May 2013
BBC – Bahrain police hurt in explosion near Manama – 30 May 2013
Huffington Post – Bahrain ‘terrorist’ injures 7 policemen; 3 suspects arrested – 30 May 2013
News – ‘Terrorist’ bomb wounds Bahrain policemen – 30 May 2013
Reuters – Bomb injures seven policemen in Bahrain – 30 May 2013