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Bahrain busts terrorist cell linked to Iran

Bahraini authorities announced that they had broken up and arrested members of a “terrorist cell” linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on Wednesday.

Members of the “secret terrorist organization” have been identified, and many arrested, said the statement on the official BNA news agency, adding that others remain at large.

Among those arrested were 33-year-old twins Ali and Mohammed Fakhrawi identified as leaders of the group.

The Omani reaction comes four days after protesters torched Riyadh’s embassy and its consulate in Iran over Saudi Arabia’s execution of Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric accused of fomenting sedition in the kingdom.

Tensions between Hezbollah and Bahrain continued through 2015 with the Gulf Cooperation Council condemning in January 2015 Nasrallah remarks on the country as “incitement to violence and discord”.

Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on January 2, prompting strong condemnations by Shi’ite-led regional rival Iran.

Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been rocked by a Shiite-led uprising since February 2011, with demands ranging from a constitutional monarchy to overthrowing the ruling dynasty altogether.

Around 150 direct flights between Iran and Saudi Arabia carrying thousands of pilgrims every month have been halted as diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed, aviation sources said on Tuesday.

One of the detainees had previously met with Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who had provided him with 20,000 dollars, revealed al-Arabiya.

Some of its allies among Sunni Arab states followed suit, with Bahrain and Sudan breaking off ties and the United Arab Emirates downgrading relations.

Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iran in October after its security forces discovered the bomb-making factory.

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