News / Middle East

Bahrain Arrests 29 Ahead of Protests Anniversary

FILE - An anti-government protester holds a sign reading "It Is Impossible For The Bahraini People To Give up On Democracy" as he shouts anti-government slogans during a rally in the village of Bilad al-Qadeem south of Manama, Feb. 11, 2014.
FILE - An anti-government protester holds a sign reading "It Is Impossible For The Bahraini People To Give up On Democracy" as he shouts anti-government slogans during a rally in the village of Bilad al-Qadeem south of Manama, Feb. 11, 2014.
Reuters
Bahrain said on Thursday it had arrested 29 people for rioting and vandalism in several villages, the day before the third anniversary of mass protests which could spark more street unrest.
 
Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain has been shaken by frequent demonstrations and clashes since mostly Shi'ite Muslim demonstrators took to the streets in February 2011 to call for greater democracy.
 
On Thursday, people burned a car, tried to block traffic and prevented people from going about their daily life, the kingdom's state news agency said, citing the Interior Ministry. They also tried to stop a school bus and tried to close schools, it added.
 
The ministry said it would take action in response to calls to hold rallies and marches, and had stepped up police patrols. Bahrain's main opposition group Al-Wefaq has called for demonstrations to mark the anniversary.
 
The Gulf Arab island is a U.S. ally and has long provided a base for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.
 
Stalled reconciliation talks between the ruling family and the Shi'ite opposition were recently revived after the intervention of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, seen as a relative moderate in the royal family.
 
However, mistrust between the opposition and the Saudi-backed al-Khalifa family remains high three years after the authorities subdued the first wave of protests.
 
Demonstrators still frequently clash with police in Bahrain, which is caught up in a regional power struggle between Shi'ite power Iran and Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia.
 
On Thursday, Bahrain's Foreign Ministry condemned “irresponsible statements” by a spokeswoman for Iran's Foreign Ministry which it said was interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs.
 
In comments on the state news agency, it said it had protested to Iran's charge d'affaires to the kingdom. Iran also summoned Bahrain's charge d'affaires to protest “unfounded anti-Iran allegations” on Thursday, Iran's Press TV reported.
 
Bahrain and other Gulf Arab states often accuse Iran of meddling in the kingdom's internal affairs, including fomenting unrest, a charge Tehran and protesters deny.
 
Iran has broadly lauded the Arab uprisings.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid