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Grand Prix will go ahead – F1 Security Concerns as Car is blasted in Bahrain.

 

Security concerns have heightened ahead of Sundays Formula 1 Grand Prix after a car was set ablaze in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama.

The incident occurred late on Sunday night in the Gulf nations financial district.

A claim to the blast has been made by a youth coalition called the February 14 movement.  It is part of their week long campaign entitled “volcanic flames” as part of their condemnation of the race.

Police said there were no casualties and no damage other than to the car, however this sent a message that anti-government militants could step up violence before Sundays F1, the premier international event in the kingdom.

On social media sites the terrorist group has said it will carry out more “actions” in a bid to force the cancellation of the race.  The group used a gas cylinder to burn a car causing the cylinder to explode.

The blast came at the same time on Sunday as police fired tear gas and sound bombs to disperse protestors. They chanted “No, no to F1” in several villages around the capital.

The explosion happened just a few hours after a press conference given by Bahrain’s information affairs minister Samira Rajab,

Ms Rajab described the situation in Bahrain as “very reassuring” and blamed foreign media for “blowing the security situation out of proportion”.

As the Grand Prix draws closer there have been daily protests.  There has been a reported one hundred people arrested in connection with the race so far.

Bernie Ecclestone F1 boss told reporters in China that he saw “no reason” why the Bahrain race would not be a success.

Last year’s event went ahead against a backdrop of police using tear gas and sound bombs to disperse protestors throwing stones and petrol bombs.

Bahrain has vowed to take “appropriate” security measures ahead of the Grand Prix.

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid February 2011.  They are demanding political reform and a constitutional monarchy.

The Bahrain International Circuit chairman, Zayed R Alzayani said that the Grand Prix would go ahead safely despite the protests.  Anyone using violence in the campaign will be labelled as a terrorist.

It is anticipated that security for the F1 teams will be increased at their accommodation and whilst travelling to and from the circuit using close protection specialists.