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Wed 10 Dec 2014 09:32 AM

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One killed in Bahrain blast, second bomb in two days

Expat wounded in blast as political tensions run high in the kingdom

One killed in Bahrain blast, second bomb in two days
Bahraini police stand near the site of a bomb blast in the village of Karzakkan, south of Manama. (AFP/Getty Images)

A bomb explosion killed a Bahraini citizen and wounded an expatriate man on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said, the second fatal attack in the Gulf Arab state in as many days.

Political tensions have been running high in the kingdom, which has a Shi'ite Muslim majority but whose rulers are Sunni Muslims, since the opposition boycotted elections last month.

The ministry called Tuesday's attack a "terrorist explosion" and said police were on the scene of the blast in a village southwest of the capital Manama. Bahrain's largest Shi'ite opposition group, Al Wefaq, condemned the attack.

On Monday, a Jordanian officer on a security exchange program in Bahrain was killed by a locally made remote-controlled bomb in the village of Damistan, also southwest of Manama, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Bahrain's foreign minister described the killing of Corporal Ali Mohammed Ali as a terrorist attack using a bomb made by the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah group.

In Beirut, Hezbollah declined comment on the accusation.

The Interior Ministry's website cited Major General Tariq Al Hassan, the kingdom's chief of public security, as saying that several suspects had been arrested over Monday's attack.

Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was swept by unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings when the majority Shi'ites demanded political reforms.

Since then, more protests have erupted sporadically and there have been a growing number of attacks using explosives.

In the worst attack this year, three policemen, one of them from the United Arab Emirates, were killed in a remotely-detonated bomb west of Manama.

Two policemen were wounded last month by a bomb in a Shi'ite village west of Manama.

In November the opposition boycotted parliamentary elections, complaining that changes to voting districts would favour the Sunni Muslim minority represented by the ruling family.

Gulf leaders meeting in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday were expected to discuss security issues in a Middle East region badly shaken by sectarian bloodshed, though the energy-rich Sunni Gulf monarchies have been largely spared.