Eid ul-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, is supposed to be a joyous occasion. But in the U.S.-allied Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, where the Sunni-dominated government has arrested scores of Shi’ite opposition activists in recent weeks, many celebrated in fear.
The current crackdown comes in advance of next month’s parliamentary elections and follows weeks of rioting and occasional property destruction by the majority Shi’ites, who have long demanded a greater share of the island kingdom’s resources and more say in its political process.
While the streets have largely quieted in response to the arrests, an explosion apparently targeting the country’s security services was reported Tuesday south of the capital of Manama. No one was injured in the blast.