Protests mark six years since 2011 demonstrations against monarchy, as police allege attack carried out by 'terrorists'
Demonstrators marked the sixth anniversary of an anti-government uprising in Bahrain, while an explosion wounded two civilian passers-by in a village outside the capital Manama, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry did not say what caused Tuesday evening's blast, but protestors sometimes throw petrol bombs during the sporadic protests that still grip the Sunni-ruled but Shia-majority kingdom since the bloody suppression of the 2011 uprising.
"Terrorist blast in Sitra causes minor injuries to a married couple passing the site. Police at the scene," the ministry said on its Twitter account without elaborating.
Terrorist blast in Sitra minorly injures a married couple passing the site. Police at the scene pic.twitter.com/mfwJjEwYyX
— Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) February 14, 2017
It also tweeted a picture of a black 4X4 with a shattered windscreen and significant damage to the front bonnet.
The blast came as demonstrators clashed with police in Manama and several nearby villages.
The demonstration in the capital ended when police fired tear gas and stun grenades, witnesses said.
— Leila Nachawati Rego (@leila_na) February 14, 2017
Activists posted pictures of injured protesters online, but the interior ministry has not published any official statements about the reported demonstrations.
The Shia-led protests of February 2011 sought a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister to replace the current government dominated by the ruling Al-Khalifa family.
Authorities crushed them the following month with the support of Saudi-led forces who secured key installations.
— IFEX (@IFEX) February 14, 2017
Since then, the authorities have banned the Shia opposition and handed long jail terms to many of its leaders. Some have been stripped of their citizenship.
Tiny but strategic Bahrain lies just across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.