At least two policemen were killed, and a further six wounded, in a bomb blast in Bahrain, the deadliest such attack in the country for months.
A bomb killed two policemen and wounded six in the deadliest such attack in Bahrain in months, and state media said the explosives resembled some seized at the weekend that authorities say were smuggled in from Iran.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain has long accused Iran of stirring up unrest among its Shi’ite population and tensions between the two sides have risen in recent days, with Bahrain recalling its ambassador from Tehran on Saturday.
A nuclear deal reached this month between Tehran and global powers has also set its Gulf Arab neighbours on edge, who fear less foreign pressure on Iran due to the deal could embolden its foreign policy on their turf.
The bombing outside a girls’ school in the Shi’ite village of Sitra was the first in Bahrain for several months, and the worst since March 2014, when a blast killed three policemen. Iranian officials have not commented on Tuesday’s bombing.
Tehran denies interference in Bahrain but openly supports opposition groups seeking greater rights for the Shi’ite majority. Sporadic violence aimed at Bahraini security forces has become the norm since mass, Shi’ite-led pro-democracy protests were put down by the government in 2011.
Tuesday’s blast also wounded six policemen, two critically, two of whom are stable in intensive care, and two who have been discharged, state news agency BNA reported.
The force of the blast ripped a large hole in the wall of the school, which was closed for the summer holidays, a Reuters witness said.
Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest Shi’ite opposition movement, condemned the attack in a statement on its website, saying “such acts are alien to the wide peaceful popular movement which is demanding a democratic transition in Bahrain”.