Bahrain busts 14-member ‘terrorist’ cell

Friday 29/05/2015
Violence threatens unity

MANAMA - Bahraini authorities say they have busted a 14-member Shiite "terrorist" group accused of having carried out bomb attacks on police and civilians in the Sunni-ruled monarchy.

The cell includes two members, based in Iran, and accused of having recruited militants in the Gulf state for the little-known Al-Ashtar Brigades, the prosecution said late Tuesday.

It said five recruits had travelled to Iraq for "military training on the use of explosives and weapons, with the aim of attacking police".

Police have arrested 10 suspected cell members on suspicion of "forming and joining a terrorist group and attempting to kill policemen, possessing and using explosives, and weapons training", the prosecution said.

All but one defendant has confessed to belonging to the group, and the prosecution is holding them for 14 days for questioning, it said in a statement carried by BNA state news agency.

Al-Ashtar Brigades has reportedly claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in the kingdom, including a bombing outside a Sunni mosque in July 2013.

Manama last year listed Al-Ashtar Brigades among "terrorist groups" in the kingdom, which remains divided four years after security forces quashed a Shiite-led uprising.