Car blast ahead of Bahrain F1

2013-04-15 20:32
People against Bahrain F1 (AFP)
Dubai - A Bahraini youth opposition group on Monday said it blew up a car in Manama overnight in an incident the authorities blamed on a "terrorist group" just days ahead of the country's Formula One Grand Prix.

There were no casualties in the blast and no damage other than to the car, police said in a statement.

"A terrorist group used a gas cylinder to burn a car in Manama at night on Sunday causing an explosion," the statement said.

The radical youth movement claimed responsibility in a statement on its Twitter account, saying the aim was to disrupt "activity in Manama's financial centre in opposition to holding the Formula One race"  ahead of Sunday's race.

Security services are investigating the attack aimed at "attracting the attention of the media" before the controversial race, official BNA news agency quoted a government official as saying.

Police and protesters chanting "No, no to F1" clashed in Shiite villages around Manama late on Monday, witnesses said. Roads were blocked by burning tyres and police fired tear gas and sound bombs at demonstrators.

The blast came as police also fired tear gas and sound bombs to disperse protesters in several Shiite villages. No casualties were reported.

The main Shiite opposition bloc Al-Wefaq condemned Sunday's attack "regardless of the party which carried it out."

It reaffirmed its "commitment to peaceful action as a strategic choice" and urged a "probe into the incident by an independent commission."

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has vowed to take "appropriate" security measures ahead of the April 19-21 Grand Prix, as Shiite demonstrators stage daily protests.

Under the banner "Democracy is our right," the mainly Shiite opposition is holding a week of protests that began on Friday to coincide with the lead-up to the race.

Al-Wefaq said on Sunday that 98 people have been arrested and 31 injured in clashes with police so far this month.

According to Human Rights Watch, police have been rounding up pro-democracy activists in an attempt to head off protests over the Gulf state hosting the race.

Last year's event went ahead against a backdrop of police using tear gas, sound bombs and birdshot to disperse protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said in China he could see "no reason" why the Bahrain race should not be successful.

"Yes. There's no reason why it shouldn't be (a success)," Ecclestone told AFP at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Bahrain was rocked by month-long pro-democracy protests led by the kingdom's Shiite majority in early 2011 that were crushed with the help of Saudi-led troops. The race was cancelled that year but went ahead in 2012.

Protests have continued ever since in Shiite villages outside the capital. Human rights groups say a total of 80 people have been killed since February 2011.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.