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Terrorist attack victim mourned

Bahrain News
Mon, 18 Apr 2016
By Sandeep Singh Grewal


Bahrain: Hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday for the funeral of a policeman killed in a terrorist attack on Saturday.

Married father-of-two Mohammed Naveed, from Pakistan, was buried at Manama Cemetery following afternoon prayers.

He is the 17th police officer to die at the hands of violent opposition thugs since the outbreak of unrest in February 2011.

The 34-year-old was born in Bahrain and joined the police force three years ago, his father Tanveer Naveed told the GDN.  

“He was a happy person and loved his job,” said his father.

“I don’t know what to say, his mother and wife are in a state of shock.”

The family was informed of his death in a call shortly after evening prayers on Saturday and he is survived by his wife, two-year-old daughter and a four-month-old son.

He was on duty in Karbabad when his patrol was attacked with Molotov cocktails at around 6pm.

The GDN reported in 2014 that Bahrain’s police officers were 116 times more likely to die in the line of duty than those in the UK, based on the per capita death rate of serving personnel at the time.

They were nearly eight times more likely to be killed than American police officers, despite widespread gun ownership and high levels of violence in the US.

However, it is almost eight months since the last fatal attack on police, a bombing in Karranah, claimed the life of officer Wajdi Saleh Mohsen. 

Two other policemen suffered serious injuries in the attack on Saturday and one of them has been identified by the Pakistan Embassy as Pakistani citizen Mohammed Arslan. 

“He continues to be in a serious condition,” said Pakistan Embassy community welfare attaché Maqsood Qadir Shah.

He added that Pakistan Ambassador Javed Malik had met relatives of the deceased and offered the embassy’s full support.

The attack has drawn widespread condemnation from diplomats and community leaders in Bahrain.

“I strongly condemn the attack in Karbabad, which resulted in the death of a policeman and seriously injured two others,” said British Ambassador Simon Martin.

“I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

“I urge all political and community leaders to categorically speak out against such acts of violence.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Kuwaiti Ambassador and head of the diplomatic corps Shaikh Azzam Mubarak Al Sabah, who reiterated his country’s support for all measures to safeguard Bahrain’s security and combat terrorism.

Meanwhile, in a statement the Shura Council said the attack only strengthened the nation’s resolve.

“This terrorist attack strengthens Bahraini people’s cohesion and solidarity to confront terrorism and extremism,” it said in a statement.

The business community has also reacted and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry described the attack as “cowardly and heinous”, while the National Unity Assembly – a movement launched in 2011 to counterbalance opposition voices – called for an intensive police effort to catch the perpetrators.

Bahrain’s main human rights watchdog also issued a statement calling for an end to street violence. 

“We support all peaceful means of demands, but there is no room for violence which should be condemned by all,” said National Institution for Human Rights vice-chairman Dr Abdulla Al Deerazi.

“This happens when Bahrain is making human rights developments and such violent acts are unacceptable.”

Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society secretary-general Faisal Fulad blamed Iranian sleeper cells for the killing.

“This killing happens days ahead of the GCC Summit in Riyadh, which will be attended by US President Barack Obama, and after the 13th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation held in Turkey,” he said.

“Iranian groups are activating their cells and unleashing these brainwashed youths to engage in street violence.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Club also condemned the attack and vowed it would not dent the resolve of the country’s Pakistani community in defending the country.

“Such attacks on police by thugs will not deter Pakistanis from their resolve to defend the geographic and ideological boundaries of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said club chairman Mahmood Rafique.

“The Pakistani community stands shoulder to shoulder with the family and is ready to offer assistance to the
grieving family.”

He also said those responsible should be made an example of to deter similar attacks in future.

“The community wants to see exemplary punishment in the case, a step that can help stop a repeat of such heinous crimes in future,” said Mr Rafique.

Reports online claim nine people have been arrested in connection with Saturday’s attack, with patrols stepped up in the area.

However, officials are yet to announce details of any arrests.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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