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Iran Press TV

Bahraini forces break into senior Shia cleric's office

Iran Press TV

Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:15PM

Bahraini regime forces have stormed into the office of leading Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who was recently stripped of his citizenship.

Bahraini media reported that the regime troops raided the headquarters in the northern village of Karranah on Tuesday and broke the doors of the building.

They also searched the office, even its top floors that belong to citizens and students of religious science.

On Monday, Manama revoked the nationality of Sheikh Qassim, with Bahrain's Interior Ministry accusing the clergyman of seeking the "creation of a sectarian environment" through his connections with foreign powers.

The move has raised fears of further unrest in the tiny Persian Gulf island which is already the scene of regular anti-regime demonstrations.

In another development on Tuesday, dozens of supporters of the prominent cleric gathered at his home in the village of Diraz to protest Bahrain's removal of Sheikh Qassim's citizenship.

Some of the protesters were wearing white shrouds signaling their readiness to die.

The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has denounced Manama's move as "silly" and "dangerous," warning that it will trigger a harsh response from the Bahraini people.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has also condemned the decision as "a Saudi plot," saying it will fuel the flames of "Bahrain's Islamic Revolution" against the ruling family.

The latest move by the Al Khalifah regime against Sheikh Qassim came less than a week after the Bahraini Justice Ministry suspended all activities of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the main opposition group in the country.

The kingdom also dissolved two other opposition groups, namely al-Tawiya and al-Risala Islamic associations.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has seen a wave of anti-government protests since mid-February 2011.

The Al Khalifah regime is engaged in a harsh crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country's Shia majority. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the island state.

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