A Bahraini police officer was killed and eight others were injured in a bomb attack on the bus in which they were travelling.
“The bus was a target of a terrorist attack at 5:26pm on Friday when it was passing through Khalifa bin Salman street heading towards Manama,” said an interior ministry statement carried by the state-run Bahrain News Agency.
“The terrorist attack resulted in the martyrdom of one policeman and the injury of eight, who have sustained serious to medium injuries and were admitted to hospital for treatment.”
The ministry said that the attack — which took place near the Shiite town of Jidhafs — was carried out by a “terrorist” group, which remotely detonated a home-made bomb.
It added that the authorities have launched an investigation into the incident and a manhunt to find and arrest the assailants.
Bahrain, a key US ally and home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has accused Iran of meddling in its internal affairs, funding militant cells in the kingdom, and of stoking the 2011 anti-government protests, which were led by the country’s Shiite majority. Tehran denies the allegations.
Demonstrations began in February and were suppressed in March by security forces. Saudi troops and Emirati police were called in to help provide security.
Last week, Bahrain's interior minister Sheikh Rashed Al Khalifa accused Iran of harbouring 160 Bahrainis convicted of terrorism and stripped of their citizenship.
He said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards trained the group, which was convicted of attacks that killed 25 security personnel and wounded 3,000 others.
Arab countries — including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt — condemned the attack, saying that they stand by the country of Bahrain and support its efforts to combat terrorism.
Meanwhile, Abdullatif Rashid Al Zayani, general secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said: “Terrorist organisations and their supporters are proceeding with their evil plans to try and destabilise Bahrain and terrify its people and expatriates.”
He said that he too stood by the kingdom and has full confidence in the country’s authorities to “pursue the perpetrators of this heinous act and send the criminals to stand before justice”.