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Bahraini forces attack protesters in northwestern village, kill 1

23 May 2017 11:36

 

Bahraini regime forces have attacked protesters in a northwestern village, killing one person and injuring several others.

Bahrain’s LuaLua TV reported on Tuesday that a large number of armored and military vehicles entered a neighborhood in the Diraz Village earlier in the day.

Diraz is the native village of Sheikh Isa Qassem, the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia majority. It has been the scene of protests since last June, when the authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote “sectarianism” and “violence.” He has denied the allegations.

The protests escalated after a court convicted Qassem on Sunday of the illegal collection of funds and money laundering and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years. The charges emanate from the collection of an Islamic donation called Khums, which in Shia Islam is collected and spent by a senior cleric in the interests of the needy.

A picture posted on Twitter shows a protester injured during clashes with security forces in the northwestern Bahraini village of Diraz on May 23, 2017.

The Tuesday clashes erupted after the protesters, who were wearing shrouds as a sign of their death-defying morale, tried to stop the security forces from entering the neighborhood. Police tear-gassed the protesters.

Since 2011, Bahrain has been witnessing daily rallies against the ruling Al Khalifah regime, which protesters accuse of systematically abusing the Shia population. The regime has been suppressing all dissent, leading to scores of fatalities.

It has also dissolved a number of opposition bodies.

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