A Bahraini anti-government protester carrying a petrol bomb and a makeshift shield , confronts riot police (unseen) during clashes in Diraz, Bahrain, early Friday, July 19, 2013. A bombing outside a mosque near the royal palaces has rattled Bahrain, prompting authorities and main opposition groups in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom to denounce the attack. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali) Image Credit: AP

Manama: Bahraini security forces clashed with anti-government protesters early Friday, leaving several people wounded including a policeman who was shot with a home-made gun, the interior ministry and witnesses said.

Hundreds took part in protests that erupted late Thursday and lasted until the early hours of Friday across several Shiite villages after a call was issued by the opposition February 14 Coalition youth group, witnesses and activists said.

Police fired birdshots to disperse the protesters, witnesses said, while the interior ministry said on Twitter that “security forces confronted a terror group in Diraz” village near Manama during clashes that left a policeman wounded after he was shot with a home-made gun.

Activists said dozens more were wounded in the clashes, but no official toll was immediately available.

On Wednesday, a car bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque in a neighbourhood where the royal court is situated but caused no casualties, the interior ministry said.

After the bombing, the interior ministry announced it had banned a rally which was planned by the opposition for Friday in the Shiite villages of Khamis and Sar.