Bahrain jails 29 over bomb attack on police

Dubai (AFP) –


Bahrain has handed down sentences ranging from five years to life in prison to 29 people found guilty of attempting to murder policemen in a bomb attack last year.

The tiny Gulf state's High Criminal Court also revoked the citizenship of two of those convicted, terror crime prosecution chief Ahmed al-Hammadi said in a statement published by the official BNA news agency.

"The convictions relate to attempted murder of policemen, using and possessing explosives and weapons, rioting, and receiving and providing explosives," Hammadi said.

The group were also found guilty of "training in order to commit terrorist crimes," he added.

The statement, released late Tuesday, said the sentences were linked to a bomb blast in a Shiite village on December 19 last year that authorities said left three policemen slightly wounded.

It did not identify the defendants or give detailed information on the convictions.

Attacks against police are common in Sunni-ruled Bahrain, a Western ally and home to the US Fifth Fleet.

The kingdom has a majority Shiite population and lies across the Gulf from Iran.

It has been rocked by a Shiite-led uprising since February 2011, with demands ranging from a constitutional monarchy to overthrowing the ruling Sunni dynasty altogether.

Scores of opponents have been detained, with many facing trial, while others convicted of involvement in violence have been handed heavy sentences, including loss of citizenship and life in prison.