DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini criminal court sentenced 12 people for life and revoked their citizenship after finding them guilty of carrying out bomb attacks on police, a senior judicial official said in a statement late on Sunday.
Evidence showed that the defendants, tried at the High Criminal Court, were "directly linked" to six bombings carried out between 2013 and 2014, advocate general Ahmed Al-Hammadi said in a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency.
The official said formal charges were made against the defendants after evidence gathered including fingerprints, "which directly matched five of the suspects to explosives and bomb-making materials found in a house in Saar," the statement said.
The defendants had full and legal rights to appeal, the statement added.
The Sunni Muslim-led island kingdom, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, has experienced sporadic unrest since mass protests in 2011 led by majority Shi'ites demanding reforms and a bigger role in government. The government denies opposition charges it discriminates against Shi'ites.
Bahrain says the opposition has a sectarian agenda and is backed by Shi'ite power Iran, a charge Shi'ite groups deny.
Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore