Exchange of fire at dawn leads to death of three suspects, arrest of seven as they were fleeing by boat towards Iran
The ministry added that several other fugitives were arrested in two extensive joint-security operations that took place on Thursday.
The operations took place following extensive investigations into the Jaw prison attack of January 1 aimed at apprehending escaped prisoners and other terrorist fugitives, the ministry said.
The first operation occurred at dawn in Bahrain’s waters, and was undertaken following an attempt by escapees from Jaw prison to flee to Iranian waters, while the second operation was connected to the Jaw prison attack, the murder of First Lt. Hisham Al Hammadi, who was gunned down in Bilad Al Qadeem in the outskirts of the capital Manama on January 29, and the shooting of a police officer in the village of Bani Jamra on January 14.
Releasing details about the first operation, the Coastguard said that at 5.28 am on Thursday, a vessel seeking to leave Bahraini borders and heading towards Iranian waters was monitored and intercepted in an area south of Mina Khalifa Port.
“The Coastguard’s requests to halt and warnings of interception were ignored and coastguard personnel came under fire from the vessel,” the statement said.
“In line with well-established protocol, self-protective fire was returned by authorised Coastguard personnel. The exchange of fire resulted in the death of three individuals, and the arrest of seven others,” the Coastguard said.
The interior ministry said the killed fugitives were Redha Abdullah Isa Al Ghasra, 29, a fugitive sentenced to 79 years and life imprisonment, Mahmood Yusif Habib Hasan Yahya, 22, and Mustafa Yusif Yusif Abdali, 35.
“The arrested were Mohammad Jassim Mohammad Jassim Al Abid, 28, Hamid Jassim Mohammad Jassim Al Abid, 28, and Hasan Ali Mohammad Fardan Al Shakar, 22, all of whom were involved in the terrorist attack on Jaw Prison and/or aiding and abetting fugitives. Others arrested included Hani Yunis Yusif Ali, 21, Ahmad Ali Ahmed Yusif, 20, Ali Hasan Ali Saleh, 38, and Ahmad Eisa Ahmad Isa Al Malali, 23, involved in the aiding and abetting of fugitives and the concealment and movement of firearms and explosives.”
The Coastguard said that items found on the vessel included a Kalashnikov assault rifle which was used to attack the coastguard vessels, a GPS system and satellite phone, ID cards, money and personal items.
Those arrested admitted they were in contact with accomplices in Iranian waters and that they were due to meet them.
In the second operation, two individuals were arrested and the authorities found two Kalashnikov rifles and three firearms with them, the ministry said.
The arrested were named as Ali Mohammad Ali Mohammad Hakeem Al Arab, 23, considered the main suspect in the shooting of Al Hammadi, and Ahmad Mohammad Saleh Al Shaikh, 26, a convicted terrorist serving a 73-year prison sentence who escaped from Jaw Prison.
The General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science said it was initiating an urgent investigation into the operations’ findings to refer the cases to the Public Prosecution.
The ministry added that intensive investigations and security operations were still underway to apprehend the remaining eight fugitives.