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Bahrain jails for life 4 over 'terrorist act'

AFP , Monday 26 May 2014

A Bahraini court jailed four people for life on Monday for blowing up a car in an attempt to disrupt an F1 Grand Prix race in 2013, the state news agency said.

The court gave a fifth man 10-year prison sentence in the same trial, the BNA news agency reported.

All of the men were accused of blowing up a car in November 2013 near a financial centre in the capital Manama "to disrupt a Formula 1 race," the agency said.

They were also accused of making and possessing explosives, detonating explosives and stealing a car, all with the aim of "carrying out a terrorist act," the agency added, saying the men admitted their responsibility.

Bahrain has held an annual three-day Grand Prix event since 2011.

The tiny Shia-majority but Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom remains deeply divided three years after authorities quashed the Shia-led uprising.

Persistent protests still spark clashes with the police and scores of Shias jailed on "terror" charges and reconciliation talks deadlocked.

The authorities increased penalties for those convicted of violence last year, introducing the death penalty or life sentences for certain cases.

The International Federation for Human Rights says at least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since the uprising began in February 2011.

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