Bahraini parliamentarian's house attacked for second time

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 21, 2013 10:47 AM

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Assailants attacked the home of a Bahraini member of parliament with petrol bombs on Sunday for the second time in a week, the state news agency BNA said, the latest in a series of assaults on public officials and security personnel in the kingdom.

The most recent attack on the home of Abbas Isa al-Madi, chairman of parliament's Services Committee, follows one on July 15 in which was no one was hurt. Pictures published by BNA showed fire damage to walls surrounding the house.

The Sunni Muslim-ruled island, home of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, has been buffeted by political turmoil since 2011, when mostly Shi'ite Muslim protesters took to the streets calling for democratic reforms and more say in government.

Although authorities have largely crushed the revolt, small-scale clashes and protests erupt almost daily in the kingdom, located between top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Washington's main regional enemy, Shi'ite Iran.

Bahrain is the only one of the Gulf Arab monarchies with a Shi'ite Muslim majority.

On Wednesday night, a car bomb exploded outside a Sunni Muslim mosque as worshippers attended late-night prayers in a district where members of Bahrain's royal family live.

National reconciliation talks between the government and opposition parties have made little progress since they began in February.

Instead, residents point to an increase in the use of homemade bombs, including fire bombs, in recent months against security forces and sometimes public officials.

Earlier this month, a homemade bomb killed one policeman in Sitra, a Shi'ite town near the capital Manama. Another injured four policemen in the village of Janabiya, in northwestern Bahrain.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Peter Graff)