Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The police officer injured in an "terrorist" bombing in a Shiite majority village
in Bahrain yesterday evening died this
morning just before dawn .
In an official statement, General Tariq
al-Hassan, head of national security
in the small Persian Gulf emirate,
reported that "the policeman Mahmoud
Farid died from the injuries"
sustained in the attack that hit the village of Ekar-East,
a predominantly Shiite area a short distance from the capital Manama.
The authorities have opened an
investigation to identify and
punish those responsible, even if there are no further news on the authors of the attack or reasons behind incident.
Bahrain, an ally of Washington and supported by Riyadh, has been swept by continuous protests - and repeated episodes of violence - since the beginning of 2011, when the first wave of Arab Spring protests crossed many countries of North Africa and the Middle East. The main agitators of dissent are the Shiite majority, victims of exploitation and abuse, who are calling for more freedom and recognition from the government elite (Sunnis).
In recent months attacks against the police considered close to the regime have intensified in Bahrain. These include bomb attacks and explosions which left several people dead and injured; the country is experiencing a political stalemate, with the opposition calling for the birth of a true constitutional monarchy, while those in power refuse any concessions or opening. To stop the protests, in 2013 the authorities increased the penalties against protesters by introducing the death penalty or life imprisonment in the case of deaths or injuries.
Meanwhile, neighboring Saudi Arabia is facing internal drifts linked to Islamic terrorism: This morning two members of al Qaeda blew themselves up near a government compound, after being surrounded by security forces. So far, there are no details on this story, however, it confirms the problems related to domestic terrorism that Saudi Arabia is facing.
The Saudi government, in fact, is pursuing an ambivalent policy regards its battle against domestic terrorism, but is one of the major financers of the international jihadist fighters and groups linked to al Qaeda as has long been the case in Syria.
Indeed, a recent study published by the Pew Research Center, a prestigious American center of studies, conducted between April 10 and May 25, shows that the fear of Islamic extremism is growing in countries with a majority Muslim population, particularly in the Middle East.
The study also reveals that groups like Boko Haram and al-Qaeda but also Hamas and Hezbollah are seeing a drop in support, as well as a significantly decrease in support for suicide bombings that target civilians.