Islamist opposition bombs Bahrain hotel

A bomb exploded in the lobby of the Diplomat hotel in Bahrain yesterday, wounding four people, according to the authorities. Opponents of the Bahraini government regarded the bombing last night as almost inevitable after so many months of unrest.

As guests fled the hotel, a telephone call was made to the American news agency, Associated Press, in Manama, by a man claiming to speak for the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain. "Tell the [Bahraini] government which has arrested 2,000 people that after the [Ramadan] feast, we will destroy every place," he said.

Official spokesmen for the Islamist movement - one of four demanding the return of the constitution and democracy to the Gulf emirate, whose parliament was suspended in 1975 - were cautious over any claim of responsibility. "We prefer peaceful methods of achieving our aims but we have warned the government before that if it continues on its violent path, there might be some violent reaction," an official of the Islamic Front told the Independent last night. "

At least 14 Bahrainis, all of them from the Shia community which forms up to 70 per cent of the Sunni-controlled emirate, have been killed in clashes with Bahrain's security police, including a baby reportedly suffocated by tear gas.

The security services, which are led by an Englishman, now blame Iran for the violence, which restarted last month when a small bomb was left in a lavatory of the Royal Meridien hotel, not far from the Diplomat. Bahrain hosts the headquarters of the US naval fleet in the Gulf and allowed American and British fighter-bombers to use its military air base for attacks on Iraq during the 1991 Gulf war.

Perhaps for this reason, the violence in Bahrain attracted as much attention yesterday as the far greater devastation in Algiers, where 17 civilians were killed by two car bombs - almost certainly set off by Islamists - a few hours before the Bahrain explosion. While 14 people have been killed in Bahrain in two years, 50,000 have died in Algeria in four years.

But Algeria does not provide the West with naval bases. Nor is it close to Saudi Arabia, whose own regime would never allow a pro-democratic and reformist Islamist group to come to power in Bahrain.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...