An improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered on King Fahad Causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on 14 February, as tensions rose on the second anniversary of the Bahrain uprisings.
The 2kg bomb was subsequently defused by Bahrain’s Ordinance Disposal Unit. It was the largest IED discovered by authorities in Bahrain in 2013.
In early-November, one expatriate worker was killed and two others wounded when six bombs exploded across Manama in a coordinated attack officially attributed to opposition forces. An opposition spokesperson claimed at the time the government was responsible for staging the attack.
The discovery of the bomb marked the beginning of three days of unrest in Manama, coinciding with the second anniversary of the beginning of the uprisings.
On 16 February, opposition forces took to the streets in the Budaiya area of the city, protesting the death of 16-year-old activist Hussain Ali Ahmed, who was shot and killed by police in Al-Daih on 14 February. A police officer was killed in a separate incident the same day.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry and Public Prosecution confirmed investigations had begun into the circumstances that led to the deaths. The Public Prosecution’s Special Investigation Unit was interviewing two policemen involved in the 16-year-old’s shooting.
In a statement issued by the Bahrain News Agency, the country’s Human Rights Affairs Minister Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman, called for calm and a return to dialogue between the government and opposition forces.
According to the statement, the minister “called for the need to maintain calm and adhere to responsible freedom, noting that national achievements should be a blessing for the homeland and not a curse inflicted on the citizens who are harmed by the exploitation of constitutional rights, which are sometimes used at the wrong time”.