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Bahrain arrests 116 people, citing 'terror' links to Iran Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Bahrain arrests 116 people, citing 'terror' links to Iran

Arrests are common in the island kingdom [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 March, 2018

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Bahraini police arrested hundreds in nationwide raids on Saturday, official reports said, accusing the detainees of terror links to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Bahrain arrested 116 people on Saturday and accused them of belonging to a terror cell of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, AP reported.

Police and security services thwarted a number of attacks amid the arrests and officials reportedly seized arms and explosives from the detainees, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that the suspects planned to "target Bahraini officials, members of the security authorities and vital oil installations with the objective of disturbing public security and harming the national economy".

Saturday's arrests are part of a years' long crackdown on dissent in the tiny Gulf island linked to Saudi Arabia via a series of bridges and causeways.

Bahrain forcibly put down mainly Shia protesters during the Arab uprisings and opposition parties have been shuttered, members jailed and hundreds have been stripped of their nationality. The clampdown has in turn fuelled sporadic and small-scale attacks against security forces. 

Bahrain frequently announces similar raids against alleged terror suspects, blaming Iran for instigating instability in the country.

Bahrain is a majority Shia country ruled by the Sunni Al Khalifa family and the island kingdom is strategically located between Saudi Arabia and its arch-rival Iran.

Iran denies supporting any efforts to overthrow the Bahraini government. 

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