Manama: Germany, the UK and the US have added voices to the chorus of local and regional condemnation against the killing of a Bahrain policeman on Saturday.
Yasser Dhaib, 19, was killed in a homemade bomb explosion in the town of Sitra, six kilometres south of the capital Manama at 10.16pm when the police had to confront a group of individuals targeting the police station.
“I strongly condemn the new act of violence in Sitra that killed one on-duty policeman and seriously injured two other policemen,” Sabine Taufmann, the German ambassador to Bahrain, said in a statement. “I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the victim. Germany strongly condemns these acts of violence. A solution to the current internal problems in Bahrain can only be found through the ongoing National Dialogue. Creating an environment of trust instead of violence is crucial to overcome the remaining differences and reach national reconciliation. On the eve of Ramadan, I call again upon all parties to speak out against any kind of violence,” she said.
British Ambassador in Manama Iain Lindsay also condemned the deadly attack.
“I strongly condemn the bombing in Sitra on July 6 that killed one policeman and injured several others,” he said. “As I said to the Minister of State for the Interior this afternoon, I offer my sincere condolences to those affected. There is no excuse for such acts of violence. I urge all political, human rights and community leaders to speak out against violence unequivocally and to take the opportunity of the holy month of Ramadan to promote peace and reconciliation,” Lindsay said in his statement.
The US condemnation was included in a statement issued by the embassy in Manama.
“We strongly condemn the increase in violent activity in Bahrain,” the embassy said. “Bahraini officials have confirmed reports of a blast on the evening of July 6 that killed one police officer and severely injured two others. The blast was reportedly caused by a homemade bomb that targeted on-duty police officers in Sitra. We view all violent activity, including attacks on police with Molotov cocktails and iron rods, the blocking of roads, and tyre burnings as completely unacceptable and unhelpful in efforts to rebuild trust and pursue meaningful reconciliation in Bahrain. We deplore such attacks and extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of all those affected,” the embassy said.
In its statement, the diplomatic mission said that it stressed “the importance of calm” and urged “all concerned to do everything in their power to prevent further violence”.
“It is incumbent upon all segments of Bahraini society to contribute to a climate conducive for reconciliation and to refrain from acts of violence and incitement,” the statement said.
Witnesses reported that Dhaib was killed when he and other policemen were confronting masked young men who were hurling Molotov cocktails at them.
“It was dark in the area and they saw a road, blocked with woods, rubbish and tyres,” one witness said. “The blast took place when they went closer to remove the debris and clear the road for motorists. His colleagues said it was probably an improvised device and a remote control was used to detonate the bomb, as he did not touch anything and was just standing there,” Gulf Daily News quoted the witnesses as saying.
Dhaib who joined the Bahrain security forces 13 months ago is reportedly the only breadwinner for his family consisting of a bedridden father, a hepatitis patient mother, three sisters and two brothers.