Bahrain sentences six to life in prison for attempted police bombing

November 23, 2016 10:27 AM EST

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RIYADH (Reuters) - A Bahraini court has sentenced six people to life in prison for targeting police by planting a bomb near the entrance to the town of Maameer in May last year, the kingdom's public prosecution office said on Wednesday.

The six had already been convicted of planting the bomb, the office's statement on its official Instagram page said. The device had been disabled before it could explode, it said.

Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has grappled with persistent, low-level violence between largely Shi'ite demonstrators and police since the government crushed an Arab Spring-inspired protest movement in 2011.

Majority Bahraini Shi'ites say the Sunni Muslim-dominated government discriminates against them, while authorities deny that and say opposition politicians are trying to undermine security.

Rights groups including Amnesty International have criticized the kingdom's lack of an independent judiciary and accused its security forces of committing torture and other forms of ill-treatment with impunity.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Katie Paul; Editing by Louise Ireland)



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