Blasts hit Bahrain as F1 protests mount
Manama, April 15, 2013
Four explosions, including one in Bahrain's financial centre, rocked the country last night amidst an escalation in violent riots against the F1, a report said.
The simultaneous attacks happened around 8.30pm, starting in Sanabis, then Karranah and the last outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Radical opposition group, the Coalition of February 14 Youth, has claimed responsibility for the blast in front of the BFH and warned it would continue with similar "operations".
A gas cylinder was placed inside the stolen car, which was abandoned in the BFH's parking area, according to the Interior Ministry.
There was traffic chaos on the King Faisal Highway as police cordoned off the area and diverted motorists away from the blast site.
A ministry official said the car was placed in the parking area of the BFH, but no damages were reported.
"The car was not parked on the road. It was parked in a parking area in front of the Bahrain Financial Harbour," said the official.
"There were no damages to the surrounding properties and no injuries. Police, Civil Defence and the explosives detection unit were called to the scene. A full investigation will be launched."
The coalition claimed the blast was part of "Operation Warning", which was part of protests against the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, starting on Friday.
"February 14 revolutionaries have completed the operation by carrying out the explosion," it said on its official Twitter account. "Our message is clear. We will continue the escalation according to our planned operations."
The GDN arrived at the scene, but was turned away by police.
Sources told the GDN the blast happened close to a hotel, where members of the Ferrari team were staying. They said three other explosions took place in two villages minutes before the car blast.
"There were four blasts in total," they said. "The first was a set of two explosives that were connected together with wires and detonated simultaneously in Sanabis. Then there was another that happened in Karranah. Then the last one which happened in front of the BFH. All the explosions happened between 8.30 and 8.45."
Witness at the BFH said police arrived at the scene about five minutes after the explosion.
"There was a very loud bang and the car was destroyed," one man told the GDN. "Police arrived at the site in only about five minutes. They started to divert traffic to another road and more police started arriving at the scene." – TradeArabia News Service