Situation tense in Bahrain after deadly Diraz raid

The situation in Bahrain is tense one day after the Manama regime forces violently stormed into the house of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim and killed some of his supporters.

On Tuesday, regime forces broke into Sheikh Qassim’s residence in the village of Diraz, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.

They fired birdshot and teargas to disperse supporters of the clergyman and detained 286 of them. Reports said 19 policemen were also injured in the clashes.

In the evening, several parts of Bahrain witnessed protests against the Diraz attack. The demonstrators expressed their solidarity with Sheikh Qassim and the victims of Tuesday’s raid.

Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s dissolved opposition bloc the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, is under house arrest.

He was stripped of his nationality last June over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence.

Despite denying the charges, the cleric was handed a suspended one-year prison term and ordered to pay a fine last week.