DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini court sentenced 10 men to life imprisonment and revoked their citizenship on charges of forming a terrorist cell and plotting attacks, the Bahraini Public Prosecution said on Tuesday.
The men were accused of receiving training in military camps in Iran and Iraq in the use of arms and bombs to carry out terrorist attacks in Bahrain, the prosecution said in a statement.
Bahrain, a small island state linked to Saudi Arabia by a 25 km (15 mile) causeway, is strategically important to the West as it hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet. It has a Shi’ite Muslim majority population but is ruled by a Sunni royal family.
The government, citing years of deadly bombing and shooting attacks against its security forces, says it faces a militant threat backed by arch-foe Iran.
On Monday Bahrain’s Public Prosecution said it had sentenced 19 unnamed defendants to prison terms for contacts with a banned party it says is backed by Iran and involved in militant attacks.
Critics accuse Bahrain of clamping down on dissent, a charge the government rejects.
Writing by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones