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Officer recounts firebombs ordeal.

A POLICEMAN was nearly burnt alive when a mob hurled more than 50 Molotov cocktails at an armoured vehicle, a court heard.

The 26-year-old was on duty on Budaiya Highway when around 30 masked men placed debris on a busy street and pelted firebombs at the "cobra" armoured vehicle on May 23.

The officer fired tear gas at the crowd in an attempt to disperse them, but one Molotov cocktail smashed through an opening causing fire to spread inside the vehicle.

He managed to exit the vehicle as backup arrived and took him to hospital for burns treatment, according to case files.

"I was driving the armoured vehicle on Budaiya Highway when I saw stones, garbage and tyres blocking the street," the officer said in his statements to the Public Prosecution.

"I then saw a shower of firebombs as more than 50 Molotov cocktails were hurled at my armoured vehicle.

"I had one of the vents open where I was using tear gas to disperse the crowd and the fire spread into the vehicle.

"My right hand was on fire and I was in severe pain.

"I could have been burnt alive but I managed to escape the fire by leaving the vehicle."

Seven Bahrainis, aged between 17 and 23, have been implicated in the attack and gone on trial at the High Criminal Court in connection with assault, possessing Molotov cocktails, rioting and taking part in an illegal gathering.

"We got information about the plan, through the BlackBerry messaging service, from one of my friends," said one of the defendants, aged 20, during questioning.

"We all met and prepared ourselves to attack policemen. We got into position on Budaiya Highway, placed debris and waited for policemen to arrive.

"We then pelted the police vehicle with a box full of Molotov cocktails before we fled."

The trial was adjourned until October 11 to cross-examine prosecution witnesses.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 2, 2016
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