Middle East

'Terrorists' freed in Bahrain prison raid

Views over Bahrain Image copyright FRANK GARDNER

Gunmen in Bahrain have attacked a prison, killing a policeman and freeing 10 inmates convicted of terror offences, officials say.

A security lockdown has been imposed around Jaw prison, south of the capital Manama, the interior ministry said.

A second policeman was injured, when between four and six men, armed with automatic rifles and pistols, attacked the prison on Sunday.

An investigation into the escape has been ordered, police said.

Sporadic unrest has hit Bahrain since protests in February 2011 demanded an end to discrimination against the Shia majority by the Sunni Muslim rulers.

At the time, demonstrators occupied Manama's Pearl Roundabout to press for more democracy.

The protesters were driven out by security forces in March 2011, after the king brought in troops from neighbouring Sunni-led Gulf states to restore order and crush dissent.

The unrest left at least 30 civilians and five policemen dead. Almost 3,000 people were also arrested, and scores were handed long prison terms by military courts.

Opposition activists say dozens of people have been killed in ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces, while bomb attacks blamed on Iran-backed militants have left a number of police officers dead.


  • King: Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa
  • Name: Means two seas
  • Capital: Manama
  • Population estimate 2014: 1,343,000
  • Area: 257 sq miles (665 sq km)
  • Currency: Bahraini dinar

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