Bahrain arrests 8 fleeing by speedboat

2016-06-05 21:23


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Dubai - Bahrain's coast guard arrested eight men convicted or wanted on "terrorism" charges as they tried to escape to Iran by speedboat, the Bahraini news agency reported on Sunday.

The men were intercepted along with two smugglers after setting off from the tiny Gulf kingdom towards the Iranian coast, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

It published the men's names and said that seven had been sentenced to between 10 to 15 years in prison for "terrorism" activity and the eighth one on terrorism charges.

The men's attempt to cross the 193km stretch of water to the Iranian coast was planned by two Bahraini fugitives, the agency reported.

One of the men has been convicted to life and the other to 10 years in prison, it said, adding that both had escaped previously to Iran.

The incident follows a jailbreak late on Friday in which 17 prisoners fled the Al-Hadd jail near the dry dock on the island of Muharraq, east of the capital Manama.

Security forces on Saturday recaptured 11 of the inmates, the interior ministry said but gave no indication of whether they were common criminals or political prisoners jailed in a sweeping five-year-old crackdown on dissent among the kingdom's Shi'ite majority.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain lies across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Navy's Fifth fleet.

Relations between the two neighbours are tense and Manama has repeatedly accused Tehran of interfering in its affairs and inciting violence in the country.

Bahrain has been shaken by unrest since its Sunni minority rulers crushed a month-long, Shi'ite-led uprising demanding reforms in 2011.

Read more on:    bahrain  |  iran

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