Manama: Bahrain on Thursday banned a march south of the capital Manama, warning that participation would entail legal procedures for breaking the law.

“The march called for by some societies on July 19 from Khamis to Shaikh Aziz Mosque is not authorised and participation in it is illegal,” the Ministry of Interior posted on its Twitter account.

The ministry also banned a rally planned in an open area in front of a Shiite community centre (maatam) on Friday.

“The rally is not authorised and participation is illegal,” it said on its microblog account.

The twin bans by the ministry were announced after a car exploded in the parking area of a mosque in Riffa, south of Manama, as worshippers were performing the Isha (evening) and Taraweeh prayers. The interior ministry said that gas cylinders were used in the explosion.

The car blast was promptly condemned by the country’s leaders and major political figures and societies amid calls by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa for the arrest of the perpetrators.

Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa insisted on a nationwide condemnation of the act of terror, saying that the circumstances required open commitment to ending violence in the country.

Bahrain has been hit by a wave of unrest after the country was sharply divided over the merit and purpose of the events that occurred in the country in February and March 2011.