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Bahrain accuses Iranian supreme leader of inciting protests

(The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2014 - 10:00am

MANAMA (Xinhua) - Bahrain on Saturday accused Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of inciting anti-government protests in the kingdom, pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

The demonstrations come a day ahead of the third anniversary of Bahrain's Feb. 14, 2011 protests, where thousands of people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers asking for political reforms in the majority-Shiite country governed by a powerful Sunni party.

Sameera Rajab, a government spokesman, said Saturday in a statement that attacks on security forces recently were "connected with Khamenei's calls for Bahraini's resistance," which was made by the Iranian supreme leader "in a meeting with a delegation from the Feb. 14 terrorist organization."

The recent nationwide demonstration in the kingdom has resulted in the death of a policeman and arrest of 55 protesters.

Two policemen were also injured in a "terrorist" explosion in Daih village on Friday. Bahrain's Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that investigations into the bombing are still underway.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in several parts of the country, a policeman later died of his injuries.

On Thursday, protests broke out in several parts of the kingdom to mark the third anniversary of a mass protest in 2011. Roads were blocked by debris, trash bins and tyres were set on fire by the protesters to disrupt traffic. Police dispersed protesters by tear gas and arrested 55 people as security continues to be beefed up in the kingdom.

The oil-rich kingdom had suspended its flights to Iran in March 2011, when anti-government protests erupted in Bahrain. The suspension followed a government advisory urging Bahraini citizens not to visit Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, based on claims that Shiite- majority Iran and Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah were involved in Bahrain's unrest.

ABDULLAH AL KHALIFA ASHARQ AL-AWSAT BAHRAIN BAHRAINI FEB INTERIOR MINISTER SHAIKH RASHID IRAN AND LEBANON IRAQ AND IRAN ON THURSDAY SAMEERA RAJAB SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI
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