POST TIME: 5 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Bahrain arrests 116 over ‘Iran-linked cell’
Iran denies links

Bahrain arrests 116 over ‘Iran-linked cell’

DUBAI: Bahrain said on Saturday that it had arrested 116 people accused of belonging to a “terror” cell allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, reports AFP.

An official statement on state news agency BNA said that security services had in the process thwarted a number of attacks and seized large quantities of arms and explosives.

Authorities in the tiny Gulf state have cracked down hard on dissent since mass street protests in 2011 which demanded an elected prime minister and constitutional monarchy in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite majority kingdom.

Bahrain frequently accuses opposition figures of links to Shiite Iran, which denies supporting any bid to overthrow the government.

The statement charged that the cell planned to target leading security figures and carry out attacks on oil and other vital installations. It accused those detained of being members of a cell formed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and said that as many as 48 of those detained had received military training in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.

On the contrary, Iran said yesterday that claims Bahrain had arrested a 116-member "terrorist cell" trained by Iran were "baseless" reports AFP.

"Pinning the blame on others and repeating outdated scenarios and baseless accusations against others will not help the Bahraini government resolve its problems with its citizens," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on the ministry's website.

"We once again advise Bahraini officials to prepare the ground for engagement and dialogue with their own people instead of beefing up security and police arrangements," he added.