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Middle East

Bahrain jails 29 Shiites for attack on police

Bahraini youths jump rope as they wait for riot police between clashes on the main street of Malkiya, Bahrain, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Wednesday jailed 29 Shiites for up to 10 years for an attack on a police centre in April 2012, a judicial source said.

Twenty-six of those convicted were handed 10-year prison terms and three others jailed for three years, the source said.

The prosecution accused the defendants of attacking a police centre in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, with petrol bombs and iron rods, wounding a policeman.

The defendants claimed in court that they were tortured and their confessions obtained under duress, the source said.

Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided since after a quashed 2011 Shiite-led uprising, with persistent protests sparking clashes with police, scores of Shiites jailed on "terror" charges and reconciliation talks deadlocked.

Authorities in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom last year increased the penalties for those convicted of violence, introducing the death penalty or life sentences in certain cases.

 

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