Building holding NRIs torched

A building housing Indian and Bangladeshi workers was set on fire in Bahrain.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 12:01 IST

A building housing more than 30 Indian and Bangladeshi workers was torched in the Bahraini capital. The fire engulfed the structure within minutes, but the workers were able to escape.

A pickup truck parked in front of the building, which is located in a densely populated area, was targeted by arsonists who were believed to have used accelerants to spread the fire to the building.

A nearby building, housing some 50 other foreign workers, mainly Indians and Bangladeshi, also had to be evacuated after gas cylinders inside the burning building were in danger of exploding.

The blaze was initially discovered by police who were assisting fire units fighting another car blaze a few blocks away, which also turned out to be the work of arsonists.

Two earlier fires, one in an abandoned warehouse and another in a field in the village of Tashhan, east of Manama, were also believed to have been caused by arson. The fires follow a third night of clashes between protesters and police, which have been escalating since last Friday.

Anti-riot troops that attempted to regain control of an intersection near Sanabis village, which is on the outskirts of Manama, after masked youth set trash ablaze were hit by Molotov cocktails late Sunday night.

Police responded by firing rubber bullets and tear-gas into the area to disperse the masked protesters.

The current wave of clashes comes after a new series of demonstrations organised by activists demanding the release of 20 people jailed for one to two years after taking part in a protest inside Bahrain's only civil airport in December.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 12:01 IST