Booby-trapped bike wounds two Bahrain police: Ministry

AFP , Wednesday 26 Mar 2014

Two policemen were hurt when booby-trapped motorcycle exploded in a Shia village near Manama, the interior ministry said, the latest in a spate of attacks on the kingdom's police.

The "terror act... due to explosives that had been placed in a motorcycle" took place late on Tuesday in the town of Al-Quraya, in the kingdom's north, the ministry said.

"Two policemen sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment," it added.

A hunt was under way for those behind the attack, which comes less than two weeks ahead of the April 6 Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix.

Shia protesters have used the past two Formula One races in the kingdom to highlight their demands for the Sunni Khalifa family to surrender its grip on all key cabinet posts in favour of an elected government.

Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided three years after a quashed Shia-led uprising, with protesters frequently clashing with police, scores of Shias jailed on "terror" charges and reconciliation talks deadlocked.

Attacks targeting police forces have intensified in recent months despite authorities last year increasing the penalties for those convicted of violence, including death sentences and life terms.

The bloodiest attack since authorities put down the 2011 uprising occurred early this month when a bomb blast in the village of Daih killed three policemen.

The International Federation for Human Rights says at least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since the uprising began in February 2011.

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