Manama: Thirteen people have been jailed in connection with a riot in which police were fired at with homemade shotguns.
The Bahrainis, aged from 15 to 21, were found guilty of arson, rioting, damaging public property and possessing Molotov cocktails by the High Criminal Court.
They were part of a mob that pelted officers with firebombs, fired metal rods out of modified fire extinguishers and set a police vehicle ablaze.
Three of them, aged 17, 20 and 21, also fired homemade shotguns at police and were also found guilty of using and possessing unlicensed weapons and endangering people’s lives.
Seven were sentenced to three years in jail each, while six received two-year sentences.
“According to prosecution witnesses, officers were dealing with a mob of 50 rioters in Sanabis, who were pelting policemen with Molotov cocktails, metal rods and stones,” said the court verdict.
“They also set tyres ablaze to lure policemen before three of them used shotguns to fire at policemen to cause havoc and spread fear among them.
“Officers dodged the shots that were fired just metres away from where they stood.
“They took cover inside a police vehicle and fired tear gas to disperse the rioters.
“None of the officers were injured in the attack, but the police vehicle suffered damage from shotgun pellets and firebombs.
“The defendants were found guilty of the charges due to their confessions and evidence presented by
One of the defendants convicted of firing shots, aged 17, said his co-defendant provided
the homemade shotguns, but denied firing one.
“We met in a graveyard in Sanabis and he (the co-defendant) brought a bag which contained the shotguns and Molotov cocktails,” he said in his statement.
“We then attacked policemen before fleeing.”
The GDN earlier reported that a total of six live rounds were fired at the vehicle from close range by three assailants, missing those inside by inches.
Shotgun shells recovered near the police patrol
vehicle were submitted to the court as evidence.
A detective earlier told prosecutors that the defendants were arrested based on information obtained from police sources.
Defence lawyers said they would appeal against the convictions at the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court.