Manama: A home-made device exploded at a shopping centre in central Bahrain, but without casualties, on Tuesday evening, the director general of the Central Governorate Police said.
“The explosion, while small, caused a great noise. Fortunately, no injuries were reported,” the director general said. “The police operations room received a call about an explosion and the police responded to the scene immediately. An initial examination of the explosive revealed a small box linked to a mobile device,” he said. The device was detonated remotely in the popular shopping centre in Eisa Town on Tuesday evening.
According to the officer, the crime scene team was deployed to secure the area and collect forensic evidence while the public prosecutor’s office was notified.
People with information on the incident have been urged to call the police hotline, amid pledges that all calls will be treated confidentially.
The police in its statement urged people to alert the police on a special hotline if they come across “suspicious packages or devices”.
The explosion occurred more than three months after two workers, an Indian and a Bangladeshi, were killed and a third was wounded in a series of blasts in residential areas in the capital Manama.
Police in Bahrain are facing a series of incidents amid calls by protesters to stage rallies to mark the second anniversary of the events that unfolded in the country on February 14, 2011.
On Tuesday, the director general of Northern Governorate Police said that “groups of thugs rioted, blocked roads and hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police after participating in a rally on Budaiya Highway” in the northwest of the country.
The protesters burned trash bins to block traffic, stalled businesses in the area and endangered the public, the police said.
According to the director general, the police exercised self-restraint in their response and repeatedly warned the rioters verbally to disperse before using proportionate and necessary force to restore order.
On February 14 Bahrain celebrates the anniversary of the National Action Charter, the document that paved the way for political, economic and social reforms.
The charter was approved in a national referendum in 2001, with 98.4 per cent of the participants voting in its favour.
The national dialogue between the government and political groupings that started on Sunday is to resume later today.