(MENAFN - Arab News) A Bahraini bomb disposal team defused a 2-kilogram explosive device Thursday on the causeway to Saudi Arabia in what may have been an effort to derail multilateral talks under way in the island nation.
Saudis and expatriates who commute daily across the 25-kilometer King Fahd Causeway heaved a sigh of relief after hearing reports of the alert Bahraini authorities defusing the bomb.
A report by the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) quoted the Bahraini interior minister as saying that the country's ordnance disposal squad defused the bomb on the Bahraini side of the causeway on Thursday.
Regular commuters said the flow of traffic at the bridge was not disrupted. "We didn't even know about it long after we were back home in Alkhobar," said H.M. Asghar, an accounts executive. "My wife and I want to express our gratitude to the Bahraini authorities for their prompt action."
From the pictures that appeared in Bahraini newspapers, the bomb was a pressure cooker packed with explosives and wired to a detonator. It was placed close to the bridge.
The English-language Gulf Daily News said a cleaner noticed the suspicious object and alerted the causeway authorities. The newspaper published a picture of the bomb.
"The operations room was alerted at 4 p.m. on Thursday after a cleaner became suspicious of the strange object," said Bahrain's public security chief Maj. Gen. Tariq Al Hassan.
Explosive experts rushed to the scene and defused the bomb, which contained a highly explosive substance and other solid materials intended to
increase injuries to nearby persons.
Bahraini authorities have launched an inquiry to track down the terrorists and bring them to justice. Al-Hassan urged Bahraini citizens and expatriates not to tamper with suspicious objects and to report any unusual situations on the 999 hotline or 80008008.
Bahrain has voiced regret at renewed violence over the last two days that
has coincided with multilateral talks to reach a consensus on contentious political issues.
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa stressed the government's resolve to prevent violence being used as a tool to place pressure on parties involved in the National Dialogue.
He said anyone with real demands should not incite violence or use those demands as a pretext to justify violence. His concern over the spike violence was echoed by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Institute of Human Rights, the United States, Britain and France.