Dubai: The Bahraini authorities said Sunday they have dismantled a 14-member “terrorist” cell that has planned attacks on senior figures and security forces in the Gulf country.
An interior ministry statement cited by the official BNA news agency said the group members, financed and supervised by two Bahrainis who had fled to Iran, had been trained by the Islamic republic’s elite Revolutionary Guards and Ketaeb Hezbollah, one of the main groups in Iraq’s Hashed Al Shaabi umbrella organisation.
Home to the US Fifth Fleet, Bahrain has witnessed continuous unrest since 2011, when a string of protests inspired by the Arab uprisings erupted demanding an elected government.
Authorities in the kingdom have consistently accused Iran of fomenting unrest there.
The ministry said weapons and explosives were also seized as well as the detainees who were allegedly involved in a February 26 bombing attack that wounded five policemen.
On February 22, Manama announced the arrest of 20 people, including four women, in an operation aimed at dismantling “terrorist cells”.
Police said they were accused of planning attacks, helping fugitives and “receiving military training... in Iran and Iraq”.
Bahraini authorities have increasingly tightened their grip on dissent, drawing harsh condemnation from international rights groups.
At the beginning of March, parliament voted unanimously to grant military courts the right to try civilians charged with any act of “terrorism”.