Bahrain: A Bahraini woman who saw a policeman die in a terrorist attack almost eight months ago says she is still haunted by the horror of that day.
The 30-year-old was driving with her mother last August when two explosions killed policeman Wajdi Saleh and injured several officers and civilian bystanders near Country Mall, on Budaiya Highway.
She appeared in the High Criminal Court yesterday as a prosecution witness in the trial of 32 Bahrainis charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, establishing and being part of a terrorist cell and causing explosions.
“I was driving my car and I was accompanied by my mother,” she told judges.
“Suddenly we heard a loud explosion and I looked to my left and saw a policeman lying in a pool of his own blood.
“We were terrified and I quickly drove off.
“We headed towards Sehla and were shocked. We suffered mentally from the incident.
“Policemen were stationed in the area and the bombing was aimed at them.
“Until this day I cannot forget the gruesome scene I witnessed.”
Twenty of the defendants are in custody, while the rest are at large and being tried in absentia.
It has emerged the devices that caused the blasts on August 28 included a military-grade M18A1 Claymore mine normally used by US soldiers in war zones.
The sophisticated device, which fires a deadly spray of metal ball bearings that can cause mass casualties and damage light vehicles, was one of two explosives detonated by a remote device almost simultaneously on Budaiya Highway.
Three Bahrainis are standing trial in a separate case for planting the same type of anti-personnel mine on the same highway last April, although nobody was injured on that occasion.
Judges heard the area was rocked by explosions at around 9.30pm on August 28 as police moved in to clear an illegal roadblock.
One of the officers at the scene previously described how his patrol was lured into the blast zone.
A Bahraini man, his wife and a young child were among those hurt and all three required hospital treatment.
At the time, people living several kilometres away, including in Saar, said they heard the explosions.
A 16-year-old who is among those standing trial admitted to prosecutors that he and his friend, aged 21, were promised payment in exchange for planting both explosive devices.
Judges yesterday adjourned the trial until May 17 for further witnesses to give evidence.
The bombing happened precisely one month after an attack in Sitra claimed the lives of two police officers and injured at least six others.
Police said initial investigation showed the materials used were similar to those intercepted at sea during a foiled attempt to smuggle arms and explosives into Bahrain.
Iran and Hizbollah have long been accused of supplying and training radical groups in Bahrain.