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Bahrain Arrests 286 Wanted Individuals after Breaking up Protest in Diraz | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sheikh Isa Qassim. Reuters

Manama – Bahrain police carried out a large security deployment on Tuesday in Diraz, where they managed to remove series of illegal road blocks and barricades that were put in the streets in order to obstruct the movement of cars and pedestrians and disrupt the interests of the people. The streets were reopened and the situation was restored in the framework of working to preserve public security and protect civil peace.

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that a total of 286 arrests were made, including fugitives that had escaped from Jau Prison. Several terrorists and convicted felons were also apprehended with a large number of them hiding in the residence of Isa Qassim.

During the operation, security forces came under attack by members of a terrorist cell throwing fire bombs, metal rods, knives and axes forcing the security authorities to respond proportionately.

The Ministry said the operation targeting Diraz, home to Sheikh Isa Qassim and a long-running sit-in supporting him, was to “maintain security and public order.” It called the area a “haven for wanted fugitives from justice.”

The statement, posted on the Ministry’s Twitter account, urged the citizens and expatriates living in Bahrain to abide by the security instructions and report to the law-enforcers on any suspicious terrorist activities.

It also called on all parents to ensure the safety of their children and immediately inform the security authorities of any information they may have regarding illegal firearms or dangerous substances that could be used in terrorist acts.

It warned that the law-enforcement agencies would respond firmly to any illegal propaganda that could foment sectarian tensions or disturb the public peace.

The Ministry said earlier that the policemen arrested many convicted terrorists, who broke out from Jau prison.

The operation followed a Sunday court decision giving Qassim a year’s suspended prison sentence and seizing assets belonging to him and his ministry. Two of his aides received similar sentences.

The court convicted Qassim of collecting funds illegally and money laundering.

The court also ordered him to pay 100,000 Bahraini dinars ($265,266) in fines over the charges.

Earlier in January, 10 prisoners escaped Jau prison after killing a policeman. Security forces succeeded in killing some of them as they were attempting to flee to Iran and arrested some others in separate security operations.