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Bahrain court jails 6 tweeters for a year

A Bahraini court on Wednesday sentenced six tweeters charged with insulting King Hamad to one year in prison, the public prosecutor's office announced. The six were charged by the lower criminal court with "misusing the right of free expression," it said in a statement. They were accused of writing remarks "undermining the values and traditions of Bahrain's society towards the king on Twitter," according to the statement.

Bomb explodes after Bahrain detains 22 over unrest

A homemade bomb exploded Sunday near Manama after police rounded up 22 people suspected of attacking security forces and blocking roads during protests, including in the lead-up to its Formula One race this month, police said. "An explosion targeting a police patrol carrying out its duties ... near (the Shiite village of) Dia was carried out using a homemade bomb on Sunday morning," said a police statement on the official BNA news agency.

Bahrain detains 22 over unrest, including for F1 demos

Bahrain has rounded up 22 people suspected of attacking security forces and blocking roads during protests, including in the lead-up to its Formula One race this month, police said. The arrests were made in Shiite villages and were related to alleged acts of violence since late February, said a police statement carried late Saturday by BNA state news agency.

Bahrain prince hopeful of solution on Grand Prix eve

Bahrain Crown Prince Salman said on Saturday that he is "optimistic" a solution can be found to two years of pro-democracy protests as the kingdom hosts a controversial Formula One Grand Prix. "I'm optimistic that a solution will be found here," the prince told reporters at the desert Sakhir circuit, south of the capital Manama, on the eve of Sunday's race.

Football: Bahrain sheikh denies vote-buying, abuse claims

A Bahraini royal who is vying to become Asian football's new leader rejected claims over vote-buying and human rights abuses Friday ahead of presidential elections next month. Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa told AFP there was no "credible evidence" in a report which raised fears of possible vote interference on his behalf by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Bahrain tensions spike ahead of F1 race

Protesters in Bahrain plan to step up demands for reform ahead of this weekend's Formula One Grand Prix, setting the scene for a showdown with authorities determined to stage an incident-free race. The main opposition Al-Wefaq political bloc has called for a massive rally to coincide with free practice on Friday, the same day the radical February 14 Movement has urged youths to protest under the slogan "Volcano of Anger". The Shiite Al-Wefaq is to protest under the banner "Democracy is Our Right".

Two jailed Bahraini activists refusing fluids in hunger strike: rights group

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Two jailed activists on hunger strike in Bahrain are also refusing fluids in protest at being denied visits from their family, a rights organisation said on Monday. But the Bahraini government said Zainab al-Khawaja was accepting fluids and denied that her father, leading Shi'ite activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was on any form of hunger strike.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Protester killed in clashes with Bahrain police: opposition

A teenage boy was shot dead during clashes with police in a Shiite village near Manama on Thursday, the opposition said, amid protests marking the second anniversary of an uprising in the kingdom. "The child Hussein al-Jaziri was martyred after he was wounded by shotgun fire in Dia," Bahrain's major Shiite opposition bloc Al-Wefaq announced on Twitter. A source from Al-Wefaq's media centre reached by telephone confirmed the death to AFP. wak/lyn/bpz

UPDATE 2-Bahrainis start first reconciliation talks since 2011

* Discussions aimed at ending political standoff and unrest * Bahrain is strategically placed U.S. ally * First reconciliation talks since July 2011 (Adds talks scheduled to resume on Wednesday, details) By Angus McDowall MANAMA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Bahrain's government and opposition held reconciliation talks on Sunday for the first time since July 2011 to try to end two years of political deadlock in the strategically vital Gulf Arab island kingdom.

Bahrain political players begin fresh round of talks

Bahrain's key political players began a new round of talks on Sunday to try to resolve the kingdom's two-year crisis, after opposition groups made a last-minute decision to join a national dialogue. Participants gathered at a tourist resort south of Manama, where the first session of the dialogue -- which will convene three times a week -- were being held behind closed doors, an AFP correspondent said. Taking part were 27 government representatives, including three ministers, eight members of the opposition, and members of pro-government Sunni political groups.
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