Dubai, Oct 2 (AFP) A “terrorist explosion” during a Shiite procession commemorating Ashura lightly wounded five policemen today, the interior ministry in Sunni-ruled Bahrain announced.

“A terrorist explosion caused five light injuries among policemen deployed as security for a procession along Budaiya Avenue” in western Manama, a tweet from the ministry said.

Shiites in the tiny Gulf kingdom mark Ashura with processions in Manama and in villages around the capital.

The annual Ashura commemorations mark the killing of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Caliph Yazid in 680 AD — a formative event in Shiite Islam.

Imam Hussein’s death was part of a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Mohammed, which eventually developed into a bitter schism between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam.

Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, has seen sporadic violence since the repression in 2011 of a protest movement by the Shiite majority, demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Hundreds of protesters, mainly but not all Shiites, were arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their role in the demonstrations.

Bahrain says it does not discriminate towards the country’s Shiites, and regularly accuses Shiite Iran of meddling in its internal affairs, an allegation Tehran denies.

(AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.