x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Bahrain violence kills policeman

The policeman was killed by a bomb that exploded in a Shiite village, Bahrain's head of public security said. Two other people were wounded.

MANAMA // Two attacks outside the Bahraini capital killed a policeman and wounded five, the interior ministry said yesterday.

The policeman was killed by a bomb that exploded in a Shiite village, Bahrain's head of public security said. Two other people were wounded.

"Terrorist groups targeted a police station in Sitra" late on Saturday, said the public security chief, General Tariq Hasan.

Bahraini authorities often use the term terrorists to refer to Shiite demonstrators who have kept up pro-democracy protests, despite a 2011 crackdown backed by Saudi-led Arabian Gulf troops, sparking repeated clashes with security forces.

"As police attempted to secure the area ... the terrorists blew up an improvised bomb against security forces in an attack that killed a policeman, Yasser Dhaib, and wounded two others," Gen Hasan said.

In Janabiya, another Shiite village outside the capital, a "group of terrorists attacked a security patrol with Molotov cocktails", the interior ministry said.

"The patrol was burnt and three policemen were injured."

In mid-February, a police officer was killed by a petrol bomb during clashes with protesters, after a teenager was shot dead during a demonstration marking the second anniversary of the launch of the protests.

The police station in Sitra has been the scene of frequent clashes.

Last week a Bahraini court sentenced seven Shiite men to 15 years in prison after convicting them of attempted murder over the wounding of a police officer in Sitra in August 2012.

The group was also convicted of setting the police station ablaze with petrol bombs and of taking part in an "unauthorised gathering".

In May, 31 people were jailed for 15 years after they were convicted of attacking a police patrol in Sitra.

At least 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests began in February 2011, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.