Manama: Bahrain’s Interior Minister has accused Iran of being involved in the recent acts of terrorism that targeted the kingdom, including the oil pipe blast near Buri, a village, south of the capital Manama, on Friday evening.
No fatal casualties were reported in the blast that occurred according to witnesses around 10 pm near a bus station and a hospital that was promptly evacuated. Several cars and houses in the vicinity were damaged. Flames and pillowing smoke could be seen from far away as firemen battled the fire and traffic officers dealt with the heavy weekend traffic in the area.
In parallel with the action to contain the outbreak, the General Directorate of Civil Defence initiated the evacuation of residents in the affected area and placed them in special shelters.
The traffic authorities closed the Wali Al Ahad Highway towards Hamad Town, the Interior Ministry said.
Coordination between the Civil Defence and the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) stopped the flow of oil from the affected pipeline immediately following notification of the incident, it added.
Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa who went to the site to monitor the rescue operations said that the oil pipe blast was an act of sabotage and a serious terrorist crime aimed at harming the high interests of the nation and the safety of the people.
Shaikh Rashid added that the recent acts of terrorism in Bahrain were carried out through direct contacts and instructions from Iran.
He stressed that the security and safety of citizens and residents is a top priority and that the Ministry of the Interior has made every effort to preserve security and protect public safety, the Interior Ministry added in a statement on Saturday.
“The Civil Defence dealt with the blast since the beginning and managed to control it in record time. Thankfully, the fire did not result in any human casualties,” he said.
The minister expressed his thanks to the security authorities concerned, Bapco and the citizens who cooperated with them.
The Public Prosecution has been notified about the incident and an investigation launched to determine the causes of the blast.
Initial findings indicate that the incident was deliberate and that it posed a serious threat to the lives of innocent people.
The police are now working on identifying the suspects ahead of referring them to justice for their crime.
The ministry said that road network in the area remained closed pending the investigations and the General Directorate of Traffic called on motorists to take alternative routes until further notice.