Armed men attack Shia religious center in Bahrain
Armed assailants have attacked a Shia religious center in Bahrain, inflicting severe damage to the building.
Local residents and witnesses said the attack was carried out in the village of Wadyan, Sitra, which is located south of the capital, Manama, during the early hours of Monday.
They said the attackers, riding a vehicle, fled the scene after spraying the building of Al-Marzouq Hussainia hall with bullets.
Photos circulated on social media networks show the building badly damaged and its windows shattered.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the incident. However, activists have accused some operatives of the ruling Al Khalifah family of carrying out the latest attack.
Several Shia religious gatherings and centers have come under attack in Bahrain and neighboring Saudi Arabia in recent months.
The developments also come as there has been a wave of extensive arrests in Bahrain in the wake of protests in condemnation of the execution of 47 people in Saudi Arabia including prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Bahrain, like several other Muslim countries, saw demonstrations in solidarity with the families of the executed people.
Since March 2011, Bahrainis began to take to the streets to demand a change in the political system. The regime in Manama responded with a heavy-handed crackdown by killing dozens and arresting hundreds of people, including notable opposition leaders.