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Capital punishment!

MANAMA: An Islamist society yesterday called for capital punishment for people who carry out acts of violence against policemen.

Al Asala Islamic Society urged authorities to fully implement Bahrain's Anti-Terrorism Law to send a strong signal to those who incite hatred.

"The need of the hour is to enforce the Anti-Terrorism Law and capital punishment for those who are behind the violence and inciting hatred," it said in a statement.

The society also condemned the killing of a policeman in Sitra on Saturday in an attack which injured two other officers.

The society said opposition cleric Shaikh Isa Qassim had not issued a fatwa (religious edict) criminalising the killing of policemen.

"Al Asala Islamic Society offers its condolence to the family of the policeman, who was killed on duty by terrorists," it said.

It described the killers as "traitors" who sold their country to fulfil foreign plans.

The society added scholars and clerics were harbouring traitors and waiting for orders from senior religious figures in Iran.

Condemnation of the officer's killing was swift with GCC Secretary-General Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani calling the attack a "heinous criminal act perpetrated against on-duty policemen contravening all human principles and international laws"

Dr Al Zayani said such acts would never prevent the security forces from carrying out their duties and protecting society.

He expressed his confidence in the authorities in bringing the killers to justice and extended his condolences to the family of the martyred policeman.

Top officials, organisations and diplomats also voiced their outrage over the terror act.

Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh called the attacks "alien to kind-hearted and peace-loving Bahrainis".

"Bahrain is, at this defining moment, in dire need for dialogue to cement national unity and reach a consensus that meets the aspirations of all," Mr Al Saleh said.

He stressed the importance of the reform project as "a guarantor of peaceful expression of opinion in compliance with the constitution and the law".

The National Institute of Human Rights (NIHR) expressed grief at the policeman's death.

NIHR urged Bahrainis on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadan to work together to stop terrorism and contribute to national unification.

British Ambassador Iain Lindsay offered his condolences to the family of the victims in a statement.

"I strongly condemn the bombing in Sitra on Saturday that killed one policeman and injured several others," he said.

"I offer my sincere condolences to those affected."

The diplomat urged all parties to "speak out against violence unequivocally" and take the opportunity of Ramadan to promote reconciliation.

Moreover, The US Embassy condemned the increased violence.

"We view all violent activity, including attacks on police with Molotov cocktails and iron rods, the blocking of roads, and tyre burning as completely unacceptable and unhelpful in efforts to rebuild trust and pursue meaningful reconciliation in Bahrain," it said.

"It is incumbent upon all segments of Bahraini society to contribute to a climate conducive for reconciliation and refrain from acts of violence and incitement."

German Ambassador Sabine Taufmann also issued a statement slamming the terrorist act.

"Germany strongly condemns these acts of violence," she said.

"A solution to the current internal problems in Bahrain can only be found through the National Dialogue." Meanwhile, the Independent Bloc has called for the speedy arrest of perpetrators behind Saturday's bombing. sandy@gdn.com.bh



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