Arson attacks on Bahrain schools continue

January 7, 2012

A girls’ elementary school was targeted in the latest Molotov cocktail attack, Bahrain’s education ministry has said. “The attack on Balqees Girls’ Elementary School occurred on Thursday morning,” the ministry said in a brief statement.

Several schools have recently been targeted by unidentified assailants who hurled Molotov cocktails or set fire to school facilities. However, no one has ever claimed responsibility for the attacks that are regularly reported by the education ministry on its twitter account.

Bahrain has witnessed a surge in clashes between protesters and the police, especially in the Sitra area, ten kilometres south of the capital Manama, where confrontations have become an almost daily occurrence.

The highway on the edge of the town has often been closed by the traffic police as protestors use garbage bins and tyres set on fire to block the main avenue into the town and the police fire tear gas to disperse them.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry said that policemen came under attack with Molotov cocktails in Sitra following a funeral. The attack happened one day after the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, an umbrella for senior Sunni and Shiite figures, said that acts of violence were not and could not be sanctioned by Islam and that religious leaders from all sects should help spread a message of cordiality and peaceful co-existence.

Lawmakers however called for the application of stringent laws against people guilty of using violence and attacking policemen. Several opposition figures have charged that the police were engaged in an excessive use of tear gas.

Bahrain said that it had recruited the services and expertise of two “super cops” from the US and Britain to help push through reforms. The move is in line with the recommendations included in a report published by an international fact-finding team following four months of intense investigation into the events that hit Bahrain in February and March and their consequences.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) said that the best way for Bahrain to overcome mistrust and suspicions was to implement the recommendations that covered several aspects of the standoff between the opposition and the government. King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and the government have accepted the searing report and called for implementing its recommendations. However, the political opposition has not publicly accepted it.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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