DUBAI, Dec 09, 2014 (AFP) – One policeman was killed in a “terrorist” attack in a Shiite town in Bahrain, the interior ministry said Tuesday.
The attack occurred Monday night in Damistan, southwest of Manama, while the officer was “doing his duty”, the ministry said, adding that an investigation was under way.
Security forces set up a cordon around Damistan and tightened checks on the road leading to the village, residents said.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid al-Khalifa blamed Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah for the attack.
“Another policeman falls martyr in Bahrain,” he wrote on Twitter, adding: “He was killed by a bomb made by Hezbollah, the terrorist party”.
It was the first deadly attack on the security forces since parliamentary elections in November, boycotted by the main Shiite opposition group which is calling for democratic reforms in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.
The vote was the first in the Gulf state since Sunni authorities crushed pro-democracy protests led by the majority Shiites in 2011.
The main opposition Al-Wefaq movement quickly distanced itself from the Damistan attack, reaffirming its “rejection” of violence in a statement.
Attacks against the security forces have increased this year, with three policemen, including one from the UAE, killed in a bomb attack in a Shiite area on March 3.
Another policeman was killed in a bomb attack in a Shiite village in February during protests marking the third anniversary of the protest movement.
Small but strategic Bahrain, home base of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, remains deeply divided three years after the month-long protests.