Bahrain Police Arrest 3 after Capital Firefight

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Bahraini authorities have arrested three suspects after a firefight in the capital Manama broke out close to U.S. Navy offices, the interior ministry announced Friday.

The trio "resisted police and fired live rounds" at officers on Thursday in the city's busy Juffair district, said a ministry statement published by the official Bahrain News Agency.

The suspects were wanted on "security-related" charges, it said.

Police "chased them and arrested two while the third was besieged in a building on Manama's Exhibition Avenue before he was arrested," it added. 

One suspect was apprehended in possession of a gun. 

No casualties were reported and the ministry did not disclose the suspects' identities.

Witnesses told Agence France Presse that police shut roads leading to Juffair and Exhibition Avenue, deploying forces in the area near to offices used by the U.S. Navy.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain, headquarters for America's Fifth Fleet, has been shaken by unrest since 2011, when protests calling for a constitutional monarchy were crushed by authorities.

Opponents of the royal family in the Sunni-led but Shiite-majority kingdom still frequently clash with police and many have been arrested and handed lengthy jail terms.

Bahrain is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State jihadist group that controls territory in Iraq and Syria, and which has claimed widespread atrocities including the beheading of foreigners.

The interior ministry announced in January the arrest of suspects who had returned from Syria and were allegedly linked to "terrorist" groups.

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