DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini court sentenced four people to five years in prison for plotting to receive explosives and weapons training to carry out attacks in the Gulf Arab kingdom, the public prosecutor said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the statement carried by state news agency BNA, several wanted Bahrainis have fled to Iraq and are attempting to lure other nationals to militant training camps.
Two of the suspects were convicted of facilitating the travel plans of the other two for the purpose of “carrying out terrorist crimes inside the kingdom of Bahrain”, BNA said.
Bahrain has reported a growing number of attacks using home-made explosives in the last two years and has accused Iran and its allies in the Shi‘ite Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of sponsoring the plots.
The country, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has experienced sporadic unrest since mass protests in 2011 led by majority Shi‘ite Muslims demanding more rights and reforms and a bigger role in the Sunni-led government.
That uprising was put down with military help from Shi‘ite Iran’s Sunni arch-foe Saudi Arabia, to which Bahrain is linked by a 25 km (15 mile) causeway.
Bahrain says the opposition has a sectarian agenda, which Shi‘ite groups deny.
Reporting by Noah Browning and Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Catherine Evans