Last updated: 3 February, 2014

Bahrain jails 13 Shiites for torching police car

A Bahraini court Monday handed 13 Shiite Muslims jail sentences of up to 15 years after convicting them of trying to kill policemen by torching their patrol vehicle, a judicial source said.

The court jailed 11 of the defendants for 15 years, while the remaining two received two-year terms, the source said.

The court said the 13 had tried to kill policemen by setting fire to their patrol car in the Shiite village of Salihiya, west of the capital Manama, in 2012.

The petrol bomb attack injured two policemen and destroyed the vehicle.

Scores of Shiites have been tried over unrest that followed Arab Spring-inspired protests in mid-February 2011.

The Shiite-led protests were met with a nationwide crackdown a month later, backed by Saudi-led Gulf forces that rolled into Bahrain in support of the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty.

Demonstrators frequently clash with security forces in Shiite villages outside the capital.

At least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests began, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.