Thursday , December 14 2017

Bahrain recaptures escaped fugitives

DUBAI, Feb 9, (AFP): Bahraini forces recaptured several prisoners who were sprung from jail in a spectacular Jan 1 prison break as they attempted to flee by boat on Thursday, the interior ministry said. On New Year’s Day, four gunmen stormed the notorious Jaw prison, south of the capital Manama, killing a policeman and freeing 10 inmates convicted of terrorism offences. “Security forces foiled at dawn today an attempt to smuggle terrorist fugitives and the Jaw prison escapees,” the ministry said.

It said the fugitives had intended to board “a boat that was headed to Iran.” Bahrain has been wracked by unrest pitting its Shiite-majority population against its Sunni Muslim rulers. A 2011 uprising seeking a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister was crushed with deadly force.

The Shiite opposition has since been banned and many of its leaders given long jail terms, several of them on “terrorism” charges. Seven of the prisoners who escaped from Jaw last month were serving life sentences. The government’s crackdown on the opposition has drawn criticism even from its chief ally Washington, which has its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain just across the Gulf from Iran. Bahraini authorities have repeatedly accused Shiite Iran of fanning the unrest in the kingdom. Tehran says it is merely speaking out in defence of the rights of its coreligionists.has drawn criticism even from its chief ally Washington, which has its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain just across the Gulf from Iran. Bahraini authorities have repeatedly accused Shiite Iran of fanning the unrest in the kingdom. Tehran says it is merely speaking out in defence of the rights of its coreligionists.

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