A police officer died in a "terrorist" blast in a Shiite-populated village in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, an interior ministry official announced Saturday.
"Police officer Mahmud Farid died Saturday before dawn from wounds sustained in a terrorist explosion at East Ekar", near Manama, said national security chief General Tareq al-Hassan in a statement published by national news agency BNA.
An investigation has been opened to identify and arrest those behind the attack, he added without giving further details.
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Attacks on security forces have been on the rise in Bahrain in recent months, with three police officers, one from the United Arab Emirates, killed in a bomb attack in a Shiite-populated town on March 3.
Another officer died on February 15, also by a bomb blast, in a Shiite village during protests marking the third anniversary of Shiite-led demonstrations, taking their cue from Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the region and demanding democratic reforms in the absolute monarchy.
Security forces boosted by Saudi-led troops ended the protests a month later, but smaller demonstrations frequently take place in Shiite villages, triggering clashes with police.
Bahrain, a strategic archipelago just across the Gulf from Iran, is the home base of the US Fifth Fleet, and Washington is a long-standing ally of the ruling Al-Khalifa dynasty.