Blast near British embassy in Bahrain
Dubai - A small explosion took place in a bus parked near the British embassy in the Bahraini capital on Sunday, without causing casualties, the interior ministry said in the Gulf state swept by unrest earlier this year.
"A blast from the front part of a bus parked near the British embassy in Ras Rumman," the diplomatic district of Manama, the ministry tweeted.
Five other cars parked in the area were also damaged but there were no casualties, a ministry spokesperson later said in a statement.
"Security services are present in the area to take the needed legal measures," he said.
"From looking at the site of the explosion, the closest target is the British embassy," said the spokesperson. The "minibus was parked in a parking area... approximately 50m away from the British embassy".
"I can confirm that there was an explosion" in a vehicle, Al-Taher al-Jamal, a press officer at the embassy had told AFP earlier. But he could not say if the mission had been targeted.
"The ministry of interior immediately secured and reinforced the headquarters of embassies in the kingdom of Bahrain," said the interior ministry spokesperson.
The British embassy in Tehran was ransacked last Tuesday by a pro-regime mob after London slapped new sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain was rocked by Shiite-led pro-democracy protests between mid-February and mid-March. It accuses Shi'ite-dominated Iran of backing unrest in the kingdom, a charge denied by Tehran and the opposition.
On Friday, Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that former British police boss John Yates and US ex-cop John Timoney will oversee reforms to Bahrain's security force after a report found it guilty of human rights abuses.
A special independent commission probing Bahrain's crackdown on protests in February-March said on November 23 that police had used "excessive force" and tortured detainees, prompting King Hamad to vow reforms.
The king commissioned the report to investigate allegations of government misconduct and human rights abuses against protesters, democracy activists and opposition figures.
The death toll from Bahrain's uprising reached 35, including five security personnel, the report found. Five detainees were tortured to death while in custody and hundreds were also injured.