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Bahrain jailbreak sparks manhunt


Dubai, June 5: Bahraini security forces on Sunday, June 5 captured 11 inmates who broke out of jail, leaving six others still on the run a day after their escape, the interior ministry said.

The ministry said a total of 17 prisoners had broken out of Al-Hadd jail near the dry dock on the island of Muharraq, east of the capital Manama, late on Friday. Apart from 11 escapees, five accomplices were also arrested, it said, and a search was still under way for six other inmates aged 20 and 21.


There was no immediate word on whether the prisoners were common criminals or political activists jailed in a sweeping five-year-old crackdown on dissent among the kingdom's Shiite majority. Bahrain's Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper had said earlier that around 20 prisoners escaped.

"They managed to seize a bus and get away after assaulting warders and police and wounding several of them," the paper said. Police set up roadblocks on the causeways linking Muharraq to Bahrain's main island, where Manama is located, the paper added.

The tiny but strategic Gulf state has been shaken by unrest since its Sunni minority rulers crushed a month-long, Shiite-led uprising demanding reforms in 2011.

Despite the crackdown, protesters still frequently clash with police in Shiite villages outside the capital. The kingdom, which is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, lies across the Gulf from Shiite Iran and is home to the US Fifth Fleet.


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