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ABU DHABI: A policeman in Bahrain was killed and another critically injured in a bomb attack while on patrol south of the capital Manama, security officials said yesterday, as further unrest convulsed the kingdom.
Bahrain, where the U S Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran, has been volatile since majority Shias began protesting against alleged discrimination last year.
Those protests were initially crushed by the kingdom’s Sunni Muslim monarchy, with martial law and help from Gulf neighbours. However, smaller scale demonstrations have since resumed and anti-government protesters clash with security forces several times every week in the small island country.
The policemen were attacked in the village of Akr late on Thursday by rioters with petrol bombs and an unspecified “explosive device”, the information authority said in a statement, citing Major General Tariq Hasan Al Hasan, the security chief.
One policeman died of his injuries yesterday morning while the other was in a critical condition, it said. An investigation was underway to find the assailants, Hasan said.
Earlier yesterday, Bahrain’s interior ministry described the incident in the mostly Shia village as a “terrorist attack”.
Thousands of people attended the policeman’s funeral in the mainly Sunni area of Rifaa yesterday afternoon, witnesses said.
Some mourners shouted “Down, down with Issa Qassim”, in reference to Sheikh Issa Qassim, a spiritual guide to Shias in Bahrain. Qassim is not connected to any party but led a pro-democracy protest of some 100,000 people in March.