DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain said on Wednesday it had arrested 47 members of a group believed to have links to “terrorist elements in Iran” who it said were planning to carry out attacks in the coming days.
An interior ministry statement carried by Bahrain’s state news agency BNA said a large number of explosives and weapons had been found in secret caches in residential areas of several villages.
“The results of the inquiry and investigation indicate that the group has close links to Iranian elements and terrorist elements residing in Iran,” the statement said.
Several members of the group received training in Iran on how to use weapons and manufacture explosives, it added.
Last month Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iran, a day after the Gulf Arab state said its security forces had discovered a large bomb-making factory and had arrested a number of suspects linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain has been cracking down on militants behind bomb attacks against security forces that have killed several people this year.
Shi‘ite Iran denies involvement in any violence in Bahrain.
Home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, Bahrain was swept by protests during the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings in which the country’s majority Shi‘ites demanded political reforms.
The government denies accusations that it discriminates against Shi‘ites.
Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Ali Abdelatty; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Gareth Jones