Children hit by bomb in same Bahrain village as Emirati police officer

Bahrain accuses Iran of instigating violence in its country at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

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MANAMA // Two children were injured yesterday after they were told to plant an explosive in the same village where a bomb killed the Emirati police officer Tariq Al Shehi this week.

The two children, ages 10 and 11, had been instructed by “terrorists” to plant a bomb in Daih, the interior ministry said, but it exploded as they were handling it.

One child was seriously wounded.

Al Shehi, and two Bahraini policemen, were killed by a homemade bomb in Daih on Monday, raising fears of more violence in the kingdom, where Shiite opposition groups have staged protests since 2011.

Bahrain yesterday accused Iran of instigating the violence at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

“This is terrorism. Premeditated. Pure and simple,” Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said. “The violence we see in Bahrain is directly supported by elements of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Bahrain blacklisted three groups as terrorist organisations after Monday’s blast took place, outlawing the February 14 movement, Saraya Al Ashtar and Saraya Al Muqawama.

The little known Saraya Al Ashtar claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on social media.

The interior ministry said on Wednesday it had arrested four more people in connection with Monday’s bombing. Authorities had said this week that 25 suspects had been rounded up in relation to the Daih bombing.

Iran denies having links to Bahrain’s opposition but does champion its cause.

Morteza Sarmadi, Iran’s vice minister of foreign affairs who took part in the Geneva forum, fired back at Bahrain.

“It is unfortunate that the Bahraini government is misusing this august body to make unfounded allegations against others, rather than providing necessary information on the improvement of the situation of human rights in his country,” he said.

* Reporting by Reuters