Bahrain Shuts Down Internet in Duraz as Ministry of Interior Leads Armed Raid on Residents

One killed and hundreds injured during the raid...

23 May 2017: Internet services were shut down as the Ministry of Interior led an armed attack on protesters in the village of Duraz. At approximately 10:20am, dozens of armed vehicles, police, and special forces raided the protest site located inside the village. Hundreds of protesters have been camped there since June 2016 in protest against the Bahraini government decision to revoke the nationality of religious cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim. This marks the second attempt to violently disperse the protest site since January 2017, when armed men raided the site killing at least one individual.

The Ministry of Interior claimed that the operation was launched "to maintain order and remove violations punishable under law". Tear gas and shotguns was fired at unarmed protesters and civilians killing one and injuring hundreds. Images and videos showed Mohammed Khadim Muhsin, an environmental activist, killed with injuries including shotgun pellet wounds. The precise cause of death remains unclear however he is highly likely to have succumbed to wounds from the use of riot control equipment and arms by Bahrain security forces.

Images also showed special security forces armed with lethal rifles, pistols highly likely carrying lethal ammunition, small arms and tear gas and other grenade launchers. Individuals inside Duraz complained of internet disruptions during the initial attack until services were completely shutdown. The internet remains offline.

Initial reports indicate that at least 57 individuals were been arrested during the raid.