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Bahrain sentences three to death over bombings

A Bahraini appeals court has sentenced three people to death over bombings that targeted police patrols in a majority-Shiite village, the state-run news agency reported.

Seventeen people were found guilty of various charges linked to the formation of a “dangerous terrorist cell that manufactured improvised explosives used against police” in the village of Kurayat west of the capital Manama, the Bahrain News Agency said.

The agency said the attacks had left a number of police officers injured. No further details were given.

Four of those convicted Thursday received life sentences. Eight were sentenced to 15 years and two others to 10 years in prison.

On January 15, three men convicted of a bombing targeting police were executed by firing squad.

Their executions sparked a fresh wave of protests in the majority-Shiite kingdom, which for six years has witnessed sporadic unrest as protestors demand political reform.

Ruled for two centuries by the Al-Khalifa dynasty, Bahrain has increasingly tightened its grip on dissent, drawing harsh condemnation from international rights groups.

Hundreds of Bahrainis have been arrested in connection with the protests. Some high-profile activists also face charges for publicly criticising authorities, including via social media.

The kingdom has revoked the citizenship of a number of activists, including leading opposition cleric Sheikh Issa Qassem.

Access to foreign journalists in the kingdom is severely restricted.

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