Skip to main content

Four Bahraini police injured in bomb attack

Men were wounded in blast near the village of Jaw, south of the capital Manama, the interior ministry said

Protester holds photo of Shia scholar Issa Qassem as she confronts riot police armoured personnel carrier during demonstration earlier this month south of Manama, Bahrain (Reuters)

Four Bahraini policemen were wounded in a bomb attack on Sunday near the village of Jaw, south of the capital Manama, the interior ministry said.

"Terrorist blast in police bus near Jua village. Four policemen injured and they are in a stable condition. Necessary steps are being taken," the ministry said on its Twitter account.

It gave no further details.

On 1 January gunmen attacked the prison in Jaw, killing a policeman and allowing 10 inmates to escape.

Shias convicted over anti-government protests in Sunni-ruled Bahrain are held at Jaw.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, has been rocked by unrest since the authorities crushed Shia-led protests in 2011 demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Anger among Bahrain's mostly Shia Muslim opposition against the Sunni-ruled monarchy mounted this year after three men convicted of a deadly 2014 bomb blast against policemen were executed in January.

Two policemen were killed in separate militant attacks the same month and security forces said this month they killed three fugitives in a gunbattle at sea as they tried to flee to Iran.

Hundreds of Shias have been arrested and many have faced trials over their role in the demonstrations.

One of those on trial is Sheikh Issa Qassem, the country's Shia spiritual leader.

He was stripped of his citizenship last year for "serving foreign interests" - a reference to Shia Iran.

On Sunday, clashes broke out between security forces and protesters in several Shia villages as a new hearing in Qassem's case was underway, witnesses said.

Protesters chanted anti-government slogans and carried portraits of Qassem, they said.