DUBAI, July 1, (Agencies): A woman was killed and three children wounded when their car was hit by shrapnel from a bomb in a restive Shiite-majority district outside the Bahraini capital Manama, police said Friday. The Thursday evening blast struck in the village of East Akar, one of a string of suburbs of the capital that have seen persistent unrest since the Gulf state’s Sunni minority rulers crushed Shiiteled protests for a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister in 2011. In Kuwait, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah on Friday sent a cable to Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, expressing Kuwait’s emphatic condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist blast that hit East Eker village, south of Manama, Thursday.
In his cable, His Highness the Amir said this act, which targeted innocent people, contravenes all religions and human values, while reiterating Kuwait’s sympathy with the Kingdom of Bahrain, and full support to all measures it is taking in order to preserve its security.
His Highness the Amir also offered heartfelt condolence to the Bahraini King, government, people and families of the blast victims, wishing those injured in the bombing quick recovery and praying to Allah Almighty to protect Bahrain and its people from any harm whatsoever.
In addition, two similar condolence cables were sent to the Bahraini King by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah. Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim condemned on Friday the terrorist blast that struck East Eker village, south of Manama. In two cables to the Speaker of the Bahraini Council of Representatives Ahmad Al-Mulla and to the Chairman of the Bahraini Shura Council Ali Al- Saleh, Al-Ghanim expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the blast, noting that “any tragedy that befalls Bahrain is a similar one befalling Kuwait.” The Kuwaiti Speaker of the National Assembly said in his cables that terrorist acts such as the one striking Bahrain yesterday strengthened the resolve of the GCC countries to work harder against all acts of terrorism. Meanwhile, the Arab Parliament also denounced the attack that targeted East Eker village, south of Bahrain’s capital, Manama.
Arab Parliament President Ahmad Al-Jarwan said in a press statement on Friday that more international cooperation is needed to combat terror acts, which cause instability and loss of innocent lives. Al-Jarwan extended his condolences to the Bahraini Government and the families of the victims. “A terrorist act on Thursday claimed the life of a woman and injured three children who were with her in a car that was hit by shrapnel after a bomb exploded,” the director general of Manama’s police directorate was quoted as saying by state media. Sporadic violence and bomb attacks largely aimed at Bahraini security forces have become the norm since mass, Shi’ite-led pro-democracy protests were put down by the government in 2011. In July, 2015 two policemen in the Shi’ite village of Sitra were killed in a bomb blast that authorities said involved the use of explosives smuggled from Iran.
Tehran denies interference in Bahrain but openly supports opposition groups seeking greater rights for the Shi’ite majority. The human rights record of Bahrain has been criticized by the United States, Britain and rights groups.
On Thursday, seven US senators said in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry the United States should be prepared to reconsider arms sales, if a recent crackdown on opposition continues.
In June, authorities closed down the main Shi’ite opposition society, detained a prominent rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab and stripped the spiritual leader of the island’s Shi’ite Muslim majority of his citizenship. Bahrain, which hosts the United States’ Fifth Fleet, is seen by Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdoms as a strategic bulwark against Iranian influence.