Manama – Bahraini police officer was shot dead in an attack claimed as a “terrorist attack” by authorities.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said Sunday that First Lt. Hisham al-Hammadi was killed in the Bilad al-Qadeem village near the capital Manama, and a preliminary investigation indicated he died as a result of a “terrorist attack.”
The Ashtar Brigade, a militant group that has claimed a number of bombings and attacks in the tiny Gulf nation, claimed responsibility in a statement on social media.
Notably, the Ashtar Brigade is classified buy Bahrain as a terrorist group that receives support and training from the Iranian National Guards.
“Police responded to the crime scene and took the necessary legal steps and the Public Prosecution was notified. Initial details indicate that it was a terrorist act,” a statement from Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior read.
“The deceased was not on-duty at the time of the shooting.”
“The Interior Ministry mourns with great sadness and sorrow the martyr Lt. Hisham Hassan Mohammed Al-Hammadi, who was shot and killed in the Bilad Al-Qadeem area, southwest of the capital Manama,” the Interior Ministry said.
On the other hand, Bahrain’s High Criminal Court issued Sunday life sentences against six suspects and bound them to pay 1551 BD.
The court issued the verdicts against the suspects over the alleged charges of “attempted murder, carrying out a blast, using explosives and possessing ammunition without authorization for terror purposes, illegal gathering and rioting.”
According to Chief Prosecutor of the Terror Crimes Prosecution Mishaal al-Mannai, three other suspects stood trail over same charges, of whom one defendant received three years sentence in prison and the remaining two were acquitted.
The suspects, however, can challenge the court ruling at the country’s High Court of Appeals and might also protest against the verdict of the Court of Appeals at the Court of Cassation.
The Public Prosecution accused the suspects of taking part in an assembly on February 12, 2016, attacking policemen and luring them to the site of an explosive device that they had already placed.
They then detonated the explosive device as soon as the security personnel drew near for the purpose of murdering policemen.
The prosecution said that it relied on hearsay evidence, the attesting witnesses as well as confessions of one suspect.