One killed in Bahrain blast, second bomb in two days

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2014 7:40 AM

MANAMA (Reuters) - An explosion killed a Bahraini citizen and wounded an expatriate man on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said on its Twitter account, in the second fatal attack in the Gulf Arab state in two days.

Political tensions have been running high in Bahrain, which has a Shi'ite majority population but whose rulers are Sunni Muslims, since the opposition boycotted elections last month.

The ministry called Tuesday's attack a "terrorist explosion" and said police were on the scene of the blast in a village southwest of the capital Manama. Bahrain's largest Shi'ite opposition group, Al Wefaq, condemned the attack.

On Monday, a Jordanian officer on a security exchange program in Bahrain was killed in the village of Damistan, also southwest of Manama, Bahrain's interior ministry website said.

Corporal Ali Mohammed Ali was killed on duty by a locally-made remote-controlled bomb, the ministry said. Bahrain's foreign minister has described the incident as a terrorist attack using a bomb made by Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim militant group Hezbollah.

The island kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was swept by unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings when the majority Shi'ites demanded political reforms.

Since then, more protests have erupted sporadically and there have been a growing number of attacks using explosives. Two policemen were wounded last month by a bomb in a Shi'ite village west of Manama.

In November the opposition boycotted parliamentary elections, complaining changes to voting districts would favor the Sunni Muslim minority represented by the ruling family.

Gulf leaders meeting in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday are expected to discuss security issues in a region badly shaken by sectarian bloodshed, though the energy-rich Sunni Gulf monarchies have been largely spared.

(Reporting by Farishta Saeed, writing by Noah Browning, Editing by Sami Aboudi and Mark Trevelyan)