Car Bomb Explodes In Bahrain Capital Ahead of Formula 1 Motor Race

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  • Protestors in Bahrain
    Ali Salman (C), head of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the largest political party in Bahrain, marches during an antigovernment rally organized by Bahrain's main opposition group Al Wefaq, in Bilad-Al-Qadeem, south of Manama, April 13, 2013.
  • F1 race in Manama
    Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives out of the pit lane after performing his last pit stop during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, April 14, 2013. Vettel was the 2012 F1 winner.
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A car bomb exploded in Manama for the second time in a week, on Sunday evening, several media outlets reported.

No one was killed or hurt. The Kingdom of Bahrain is scheduled to host the Formula 1 championship race from April 19-21. The explosion happened outside the Bahrain Financial Harbor, a few kilometers away from a hotel where members of an unspecified F1 racing team are staying. Three other explosions on the outskirts of the capital were also reported.

“The bomb was planted in a car near a commercial center in Manama. No damage was reported," an anonymous police office told Xinhua News. Last Friday, a car was damaged in another explosion.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the three-day grand championship motor race, despite antigovernment protests that have been marred by violent riots. The protestors have even gone so far as to demand the F1 race be canceled. Similar turmoil surrounded the race last year, when protesters hurled gas bombs in clashes with police, China Daily reported at the time. But the race went on, and this year it looks to be going ahead as well.

In fact, the Kingdom has begun to crack down on the protests with even more vigor than usual, the Atlantic reported. Villages near the F1 track have been attacked by police with tear gas and sound bombs, a spokesman for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told the Atlantic. Fourteen people have also been arrested.

On Monday, the Bahraini Interior Ministry said in a statement that it would boost security following Sunday evening’s attack, which it said was carried out by terrorists, Financial Times reports.

An antigovernment youth group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks and pledged more to come.

The government just finished six weeks of talks with opposition leaders that reportedly failed to achieve anything.

The 2011 Grand Prix in Bahrain was canceled due to protests.

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