Killers 'deliberately targeted Bahrain policemen'
Manama, April 29, 2011
Men convicted of murdering two policemen in Bahrain during the unrest last month have described how they deliberately ran over their victims, in televised confessions.
A military court sentenced four of them to death and jailed another three for life yesterday for killing policemen Kashef Ahmed Mandhoor and Mohammed Farooq Abdulsamad Al Balooshi.
Both officers were targeted during an operation to evict protesters from the GCC (Pearl) Roundabout on March 16.
Just hours after the sentencing, Bahrain TV broadcast footage of the men confessing to the attacks - while another witness said protesters had been encouraged to run over police officers by an extremist opposition leader.
Four policemen were killed during the height of unrest, with at least three of them being deliberately mowed down by cars.
Defendants Ali Abdulla Hassan Al Singees, Qasim Hasan Matar Ahmad, Saeed Abduljalil Saeed and Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Husain were sentenced to death yesterday for their role in killing the two officers.
Three others jailed for life for their role in the two deaths were Isa Abdulla Kadhem Ali, Sayyed Sadiq Ali Mahdi and Husain Ja'afar Abdulkareem.
During yesterday's broadcast, Mr Saeed described the moments leading up to the deaths of the two officers, saying he had been called to the roundabout at 5am on March 16.
"I went to the tent where I found Abdulaziz, Ali, Mr Ali, Sayyed Sadiq and other people I did not know," he said.
"While there, Abdulaziz told us that we should be involved in anything that happens at the roundabout and that we should get into action and assist.
"We all agreed. Then Qasim arrived on foot. He did not bring his car."
Saeed said Husain told the men to follow him into two GMC vans parked nearby and the men split up.
"Ali took the driver's seat (in a black GMC), Qasim sat next to him and I sat behind them," said Mr Saeed, adding that Mr Husain got into a maroon GMC with Ali, Sadiq and Abdulkareem.
"We drove round the roundabout to the Dana Roundabout, where we went separate ways," he said.
"Abdulaziz told us that he would contact us if he needed us. As we drove on, we went to Dana Mall and heard that the army had reached the City Centre area," he said.
He added that's when he contacted Ahmad and asked him to come quickly. "I enquired about his whereabouts and he said they were on their way," he continued.
"On their way, I saw them and started making hand signs to them to speed up," he said.
Ali recalled the moment they ploughed into the back of Al Balooshi - an incident caught on camera and broadcast on Bahrain TV and the Internet.
"Suddenly, we saw policemen ahead of us. One was standing with his back to me. He was communicating with another policeman, but we were behind him. We sped up and hit him."
"After we hit him, Sayyed Sadiq told me to drive back and run him over. I drove back and ran him over. Ali also came and drove over the policeman."
Al Singees described the moment he drove over the policeman's body after he had been knocked down.
"We followed him (Saeed) quickly and hit the policeman. I was behind him and drove over the policeman," he said.
Meanwhile, Ali said Al Singees drove over the policeman's body a second time. "Ali hit the policeman and drove over him a second time," he said.
Ali said Saeed jumped out of the vehicle and grabbed a weapon dropped by the dead police officer. "Ali stopped the vehicle and covered Saeed up," he said. "Saeed took the rifle and came running back to the vehicle."
Saeed went on to recall how he snatched the weapon from the ground. "Ali made a turn towards the rifle. I told them to cover me up with the vehicle and they did," he said.
"I walked to the rifle and picked it up. I intended to go back to the vehicle, but Ali had driven away, so I went to the maroon vehicle. I got on the back seat and gave the rifle and the ammunition bag to Abdulaziz and told them to drive me back home quickly."
"In the beginning, he refused to drive me back, so I asked him to drop me off in Manama and he did. I called my family and they took me home."
Al Singees said Ahmad saw another policeman and told him to run him over as well. "We drove up to the policeman and hit him," he said.
"We drove over him and then away. We went towards the area near Sanabis School for Girls, where we parked the car."
Ahmad described the moment they ploughed into Mandhoor.
"On our way, we saw a policeman. First he (Al Singees) hit him and his body flew a certain distance. Then, we drove over him," he added.
"We were about to leave when we saw people gathering around him, so we went back and ran him over."
He said the men abandoned the vehicle and fled the area in his car.
"We drove away in my car, dropped Ali off at his grandfather's house in Sanabis and drove straight to our home," he said.
Meanwhile, a confession by Ali Saqer, not among the seven in court yesterday, was also aired by Bahrain TV.
He admitted attacking unarmed security men who tried to remove barriers and clear the highway outside Bahrain Financial Harbour on March 13.
The suspect said the extremist leader, who is already in custody, told protesters to use cars to stall police. "They told us: 'If you see policemen ahead of you, run them over. Run over the policemen and move away'," he said.
"I went to take the car. On my way, I saw two policemen and I recalled what I was told, so I pressed on the accelerator and ran both policemen over."
"On my way away from the scene, I involuntarily hit a demonstrator," he added.
Saqer died in police custody on April 9. Authorities say three policemen and a member of the National Guard died in attacks by protesters. The seven men convicted of the murders of two officers have the right to appeal.-TradeArabia News Service