Bahrain jails 16 Shiites over attack on police

AFP , Monday 2 Dec 2013

Mourners carry Bahraini flags and shout anti-government slogans during the funeral for Ahmad Abdul Amir, 15, on the edge of Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 (Photo: AP)

A Bahraini court on Monday sentenced 16 Shiites convicted of attacking a police patrol with Molotov cocktails to seven years in prison each, a judicial source said.

They were also found guilty of blocking roads by setting tyres on fire in May last year and for taking part in an unauthorised protest during which a police vehicle was attacked, although no one was hurt.

The jail terms are the latest against Shiites accused of violence in the Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchy, where a Shiite-led uprising to demand democratic reform was crushed in March 2011.

At least 89 people have been killed since the protests began, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

Strategically located across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and is an offshore financial and services centre for its oil-rich Arab neighbours.

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