In this Thursday June 30, 2016 photo released by the Interior Ministry of Bahrain, security forces examine the site of a bombing which killed a Bahraini woman and injured three children who were with her in her car. Police on Friday described the incident the previous day as a "terrorist bombing" in the village of Eker. Image Credit: AP

Doha, Abu Dhabi: A Bahraini woman died and three children sustained minor injuries when their car was hit by a bomb blast on Thursday that police said was carried out by terrorists in southern Bahrain.

Shrapnel hit the car the woman was in, the police said, and security forces were investigating the scene of the attack in the village of East Eker, south of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

“A terrorist act on Thursday claimed the life of a woman and injured three children who were with her in a car that was hit by shrapnel after a bomb exploded,” the director general of Manama’s police directorate was quoted as saying by state media.

The UAE strongly condemned the blast.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned in the strongest possible terms “this heinous terrorist crime that targeted unsuspecting people in contrary to all human values, the principles and tenets of Islamic Sharia.” He also denounced all attempts to justify terrorism and incitement.

In a statement, the UAE minister asserted full support and solidarity with the Kingdom of Bahrain “in the face of such serious terrorist crimes against the security of the kingdom, its stability and unity of its national fabric.”

Shaikh Abdullah called for stepping up concerted efforts at all levels to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He extended the UAE’s heartfelt condolences to the leadership, government and people of the Kingdom of Bahrain, as well as to the victim’s family. Shaikh Abdullah also extended the UAE’s wishes for speedy recovery of the injured children. May Almighty Allah protect the Kingdom of Bahrain from all evils.

Sporadic violence and bomb attacks largely aimed at Bahraini security forces have become the norm since mass protests were put down by the government in 2011.

In July, 2015 two policemen in the village of Sitra were killed in a bomb blast that authorities said involved the use of explosives smuggled from Iran.

Tehran denies interference in Bahrain but openly supports opposition groups seeking greater rights for the opposition.

In June, authorities closed down the main Shiite opposition society, detained a prominent rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab and stripped the spiritual leader of the island’s Shiites of his citizenship.

Bahrain, which hosts the United States’ Fifth Fleet, is seen by Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdoms as a strategic bulwark against Iranian influence.