Bahrain vows to wipe out 'terrorism' after bomb
DUBAI - Agence France-Presse
Protesters take cover behind a shield during clashes with police in Manama, following a rally to protest against the death of an activist. AFP photoBahrain vowed Tuesday to eliminate "terrorism," a day after a bomb killed three policemen in a Shiite village, in the deadliest attack on security forces since they crushed the 2011 uprising.
Ministers at an extraordinary meeting pledged to "take the necessary measures to eradicate terrorist groups and those who support them," BNA state news agency said.
The government asked the interior ministry "to carry on relentlessly its combat against terrorism," it said.
Monday's explosion was the most serious attack on the security forces in terms of casualties since the Shiite majority led an Arab Spring-inspired uprising in February 2011 against the Al-Khalifa Sunni dynasty.
Clashes frequently erupt near Manama between security forces and Shiite protesters demanding the ruling family surrender its grip on all key cabinet posts in favour of an elected government.
An officer from the United Arab Emirates was among the three personnel killed in the bomb blast in the village of Daih, on the outskirts of Manama.
He is the first Gulf officer reported to have been killed since forces from the region rolled into Bahrain in March 2011 to boost the kingdom's security forces, which later quelled the month-long uprising.
Bahrain has always maintained that the Gulf force does not take part in confrontations with protesters and has only been deployed to protect vital installations.
The UAE interior ministry said First Lieutenant Tariq al-Shehi was part of a force established as part of common Gulf security pact.
Bahraini security forces deployed in several Shiite villages on Tuesday, establishing checkpoints and arresting at least 12 Shiites, witnesses said.
Security forces have cordoned off Daih since Monday, witnesses said.
In March 2011, Bahrain was backed by security forces mainly from Saudi Arabia when it brutally crushed the Shiite-led protests.
Three years on, the kingdom remains deeply divided, with persistent protests that ignite clashes with police, scores of Shiites jailed on "terror" charges, reconciliation talks deadlocked and sectarian distrust simmering.
The International Federation for Human Rights says at least 89 people have been killed.
Last year the authorities increased the penalties for those convicted of violence, introducing the death penalty or life sentences in cases which resulted in deaths or injuries.