Bahrain jails six for life over police bombing

A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced six people to life in prison for inciting riots to lure police towards a bomb. (AFP pic)

DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Thursday sentenced six people to life in prison for inciting riots to lure police towards a bomb, a judicial source said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the six, all Shiite Muslims, were found guilty of inciting a mass riot on November 25, 2014.

The riot was aimed at attracting security forces to Diraz, a flashpoint village outside Manama, where a homemade bomb went off near a patrol car, wounding two officers, the source said.

Authorities in Sunni-ruled Bahrain, a tiny Shiite-majority kingdom strategically located between Saudi Arabia and its archfoe Iran, have jailed dozens of activists and disbanded both religious and secular opposition groups since pro-democracy protests broke out in 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring.

The Bahraini government has accused Shiite Iran of backing the protests and attempting to overthrow the government. Tehran denies involvement.

Human rights organisations repeatedly accuse the oil-rich Gulf country of suppressing all forms of opposition.

Authorities have also banned the main Shiite opposition group Al Wefaq, the largest in parliament before 2011, as well as the main secular opposition group Al-Waad.

Foreign press access is severely restricted in the tiny but strategic island state, which is home to the US Fifth Fleet and a British military base.