Al-Mukhtar Brigades call on Bahrain citizens to 'attack police' after executions

The Al-Mukhtar Brigades posted this tribute to three men executed in Bahrain, for the 2014 bomb attackFacebook/Al-Mukhtar Brigades

A militant Shia group in Bahrain has called on citizens to attack the police in response to the execution of three men in Manama this morning (15 January).

Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali al-Singace were convicted of a bomb attack in 2014 in which three policemen died – one of them an Emirati officer. Their supporters say the men were tortured to make them confess.

Protests had broken out even ahead of the executions, with Shia clerics calling for "general rage" and scores of people taking to the streets.

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One police officer was injured in the leg in Bani Jamra when unknown assailants opened fire on a patrol.

Now the al-Mukhtar Brigades have called on followers to attack the police to avenge the "martyrs."

In an Facebook post, the al-Mukhtar Brigades released a statement in Arabic that said: "We in the Islamic resistance Mukhtar Brigades clarion call on the public and mourning for the souls of the martyrs and the initiation by targeting all the mercenaries of this entity in various military and civilian formations."

According to Iran-based paper the Tehran Times, there were angry demonstrations in the villages of Diraz, Bani Jamra and Sanabis.

Troops are reported to have fired pellets and teargas, injuring demonstrators.

The Bahrain Mirror appeared to carry photographs of demonstrations and injured demonstrators. The paper also reports that so far the authorities have refused to return the bodies of the three men to their families for burial. Under Islamic traditions, burials must occur as soon as possible after death – some Muslims believe the burial should happen within 24 hours of death.

Bahrain was rocked by protests as part of the Arab Spring in 2011, when people took to the streets demanding political reform and human rights.

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The authorities responded harshly, killing scores of demonstrators and arresting thousands more, aided by troops from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Bahrain's rulers blame Iran (where around 95% of Muslims are Shia) for fermenting trouble in the kingdom.

Islam is the state religion of Bahrain. A 2010 census found 70% of the country's residents identified as Muslim. There are no official figures for the numbers of Shia and Sunni Muslims in the country, but estimates say 60-70% of Bahrain's Muslims are from the Shia sect.

As with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is a monarchy and its royal family are Sunni Muslims.

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