Bahrain arrests bombing suspects and blames Hezbollah

DUBAI Tue Nov 6, 2012 1:55pm EST

Police officials work at a bomb site in capital of Manama, Bahrain, November 5, 2012. Five bombs exploded in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama on Monday, killing two people, officials said, in rare attacks targeting civilians during the 21-month-old uprising against the kingdom's U.S.-backed rulers. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Police officials work at a bomb site in capital of Manama, Bahrain, November 5, 2012. Five bombs exploded in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama on Monday, killing two people, officials said, in rare attacks targeting civilians during the 21-month-old uprising against the kingdom's U.S.-backed rulers.

Credit: Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain said it had arrested four suspects on Tuesday in the bombings that killed two people in the capital Manama and accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of being behind the attacks.

Public Security Chief Major-General Tariq Al Hassan said in a statement published by the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) the suspects were detained after prosecutors issued arrest warrants and police were hunting for other killers.

The five home-made bombs on Monday bore the hallmarks of Hezbollah, the Shi'ite group allied with Iran, authorities said.

"Their terrorist practices prove that they have been trained outside the kingdom," BNA said. "The hallmarks of Hezbollah are crystal clear."

The Sunni Muslim-dominated, U.S.-aligned Bahrain government has been struggling since early last year to suppress pro-democracy unrest led mainly by the Gulf Arab kingdom's majority Shi'ite Muslims.

BNA quoted Information Minister Samira Ibrahim bin Rajab as saying the bombings were staged by terrorist groups trained outside Bahrain and based in countries including Lebanon.

She said the groups were operating under principles set by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and that 19 pro-Iran satellite media channels were inciting their supporters in Bahrain to subvert the government.

The blasts in the capital Manama on Monday killed two street cleaners and wounded another, according to state media.

Some opposition activists have suggested the attacks, which came a few days after the government banned opposition gatherings with the stated goal of ensuring public safety, could have been the work of forces trying to justify the clampdown.

The government has repeatedly accused Shi'ite Iran of fomenting the turmoil, a charge the Islamic Republic denies. Hezbollah denies involvement in the Bahrain protests, but has criticized the government's handling of them.

Bahraini police say they have been the target of numerous attacks with homemade bombs since April, including one that killed a policeman last month.

The U.N. Secretary-General's spokesman Martin Nesirky said in an e-mailed statement the U.N. condemned the bombings in Bahrain and that such violent acts could not be justified by any cause.

"We call on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from any provocations. We urge all Bahrainis to come together in a spirit of national unity and to resolve differences peacefully through dialogue and reconciliation."

(Reporting by Mirna Sleiman; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Roche)

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Comments (4)
Free_Pacific wrote:
Iran sent assasins to Thailand, transiting through Malaysia. Now an Iranian backed group could be responsible for killing asians in Bahrain. And yet, there is people who support this countries quest for nuclear weapons.

Nov 06, 2012 7:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JanRyan wrote:
You will notice the comment that opposition are not even convinced these bombs were placed by protestors. They were in mainly expat areas, no-one reported hearing any explosion and there was minimal damage to a car immediately adjacent to the “bomb”. Finally, the bodies appear to have injuries that are not consistent with a blast. The only local TV, which is run by the government, were filmed making a bogus video of violent protestors not too long ago. This government has shown they are capable of any lie to support their hold on power and avoid reforms.

And no-one, including the government’s own investigation and the US government, has shown any link between protestors and Iran. This is not a religious uprising. People from all sects and groups support reform in Bahrain.

Nov 09, 2012 8:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JanRyan wrote:
You will notice the comment that opposition are not even convinced these bombs were placed by protestors. They were in mainly expat areas, no-one reported hearing any explosion and there was minimal damage to a car immediately adjacent to the “bomb”. Finally, the bodies appear to have injuries that are not consistent with a blast. The only local TV, which is run by the government, were filmed making a bogus video of violent protestors not too long ago. This government has shown they are capable of any lie to support their hold on power and avoid reforms.

And no-one, including the government’s own investigation and the US government, has shown any link between protestors and Iran. This is not a religious uprising. People from all sects and groups support reform in Bahrain.

Nov 09, 2012 8:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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