Monday, November 5, 2012

Five bomb blasts hit Bahrain capital, two killed

DUBAI (Reuters) - Five home-made bombs went off in the Bahraini capital Manama on Monday, killing two street cleaners and wounding another worker, the state news agency said, describing the explosions as "terrorist acts".

Police have been targeted by explosions several times this year, as the government has stepped up efforts to quell an uprising that has simmered since democracy protests broke out in early 2011.

But bombs targeting civilians are rare in the kingdom, where the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family, a U.S. ally, rules over a majority Shi'ite population.

The explosions on Monday took place in the Qudaibiya and Adliya districts of Manama, the BNA agency said, citing a police official. In one incident, a man died after kicking an object which then blew up, it said. It described the explosives as "locally-made bombs".

An Interior Ministry statement on Twitter said the two dead men and the wounded man were Asian workers.

BNA gave no more details on the incidents which come after the government said last week it had banned all rallies and gatherings to ensure public safety.

The ban was condemned by Amnesty International as a violation of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The kingdom hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which patrols oil shipping lanes in the Gulf region.

(Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Pravin Char)

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