On Tuesday, security forces raided the town of Diraz in northwestern Bahrain, clashing with proterstors in the area.
According to reports, a large number of armoured vehicles entered the town. The police used tear gas and shotguns against porterstors, killing from 1 to 2 persons and injuring dozens others.
Representatives of the Bahraini government said that security forces made several arrests, but didn’t comment on the reports about casualties among civilians, according to Reuters.
The security forces operation followed the Sunday court decision to give Sheikh Isa Qassim a year’s suspended prison sentence and seizing assets belonging to him. He was accused of the illegal collection of funds and money laundering.
According to the Iranian state-run media outlet Press TV, “the charges emanate from the collection of an Islamic donation called Khums, which in Shia Islam is collected and spent by a senior cleric in the interests of the needy.”
Sheikh Isa Qassem is the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia majority and native of Diraz. Last June, he was stripped of the citizenship over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote “sectarianism” and “violence.” He denied the allegations and his supporters called the trial politically motivated.