The authorities said Tuesday that four suspects had been arrested in connection with deadly bombings the day before, and that the Shiite militant group Hezbollah may have played a role. The blasts were a major escalation of the violence that has roiled Bahrain, a tiny Persian Gulf state ruled by a Sunni monarchy, because of a 21-month-old uprising by the Shiite majority. Hundreds of antigovernment demonstrators clashed with the police on Tuesday in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, the capital. Bahrain's chief of public security, Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Hassan, said that the bombing suspects, who were not identified, had been taken into custody and that further arrests were possible.
The official Bahrain News Agency quoted the minister of information, Samira Ibrahim bin Rajab, as saying the bombings "bear the hallmarks of the Hezbollah terrorist organization" and rejected claims by the opposition that the government planted the bombs to justify a state of emergency. The five bombs, which killed two people in Manama on Monday, came less than a week after the authorities in Bahrain, home to the United States Fifth Fleet, banned all public protests, saying the political opposition had repeatedly failed to prevent them from turning violent.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.