Blast near British embassy in Bahrain: ministry
A small explosion took place in a bus parked near the British embassy in the Bahraini capital on Sunday, 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, without reporting casualties.
"Security services are present in the area to take the needed legal measures," it added.
"I can confirm that there was an explosion" in a vehicle, said Al-Taher al-Jamal, a press officer at the British embassy. But he could not say if the mission had been targeted.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain was rocked by Shiite-led pro-democracy protests between mid-February and mid-March. It accuses Shiite-dominated Iran of backing unrest in the kingdom, a charge denied by Tehran and the opposition.
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.
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.
© 2011 AFP