Bahrain vowed on Sunday to take “appropriate” security measures after a series of explosions raised security fears ahead of the kingdom’s premier international sporting event, the F1 Grand Prix motor race, scheduled for this weekend
The interior ministry said on Monday it would boost security after militants ignited a gas canister in a car in the central commercial district of the capital late on Sunday.
The blast outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour was accompanied by three other explosions on the outskirts of the capital Manama, with the February 14 youth movement claiming responsibility for the attacks, saying it was aimed at disrupting “activity in Manama’s financial centre in opposition to holding the Formula One race”, and pledging “more operations”.
Officials have downplayed the incident, which the interior ministry has not designated as a “terrorist incident”.
Bahrain “will ensure that appropriate security measures are taken during the F1 race and will take enough measures as in all other countries which host such international sporting events,” government spokeswoman Sameera Rajab said.
“The security situation in Bahrain is very reassuring,” she said, quoted by state news agency BNA.
The violence was condemned by several groups including opposition society Al-Wefaq and US-based NGOs Americans for Human Rights and Democracy in Bahrain and Human Rights First
— ADHRB (@ADHRB) April 15, 2013
Human Right First’s Brian Dooley said:
Thankfully no one was injured in these explosions, but there have been casualties in previous violent protests. If these bombings continue, there will inevitably be more injuries and deaths. Such attacks are wrong, increase the polarization in an already deeply divided society, and aren’t the way to achieve democracy in Bahrain.
The February 14 Youth Coalition, an underground opposition movement, are running a campaign against the Formula One which they call “Flame Volcanoes”.
Urgent: after potting our trust in God, the process of “warning 3” is began amid financial Harbour junction in the capital Manama, in act of popular rejection of “formula 1” racing on our home land occupied by Saudis, including direct support to the bloodshed and continue support crimes against human rights.
A YouTube channel, created on March 28th, purports to show footage from the two previous “warnings”, where cars were driven to locations, doused with petrol, and set aflame.