MANAMA (Reuters) - A bomb injured two Bahraini policemen on Tuesday, authorities said, amid high tension after the opposition boycotted the country’s first elections since unrest rocked the island kingdom in 2011.
The Interior Ministry said the explosion in the small Shi‘ite village of Deraz, west of the capital Manama, was a “terror blast”, but provided no further details.
Earlier on Tuesday, security forces raided the house of the country’s most prominent Shi‘ite Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, in Deraz and searched it, the main opposition group al-Wefaq said on its website. It said the raid prompted angry protests and prayers by Qassim’s followers.
The Interior Ministry said on its Twitter account police searched a house in Deraz “after receiving permission from the residents to search for a suspect wanted” for a bus blast on Nov. 20, but did not say whose home was searched.
The Sunni Muslim-ruled island kingdom, home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was swept by unrest in 2011 led by majority Shi‘ites demanding political reforms.
There have been a growing number of attacks using explosives, often targeting policemen. In March, three policemen were killed by a remotely-detonated bomb.
Al-Wefaq and other opposition groups boycotted Saturday’s elections, alleging that constituency changes would still favour the Sunni Muslim minority represented by the ruling family.
Run-off votes are scheduled to be held next Saturday in some constituencies.
(The story corrects description of Sunni Muslims in para 7 to “minority”.)
Reporting by Farishta Saeed, writing by Reem Shamseddine, editing by Sami Aboudi and Andrew Roche