Five Bahraini police were wounded late on Saturday, as security forces clashed with opposition protesters in a Shiite village north of the capital, police said.

The injuries were inflicted by a "group of terrorists" at the entrance to the village of Dair with a "home-made explosive device," a statement carried by the official BNA news agency said.

Police in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf state routinely refer to opposition protesters as terrorists.

The authorities crushed mass pro-democracy demonstrations in the capital with the help of Saudi-led troops in 2011 but sporadic protests have continued in the Shiite villages.

Protesters generally burn tyres and throw petrol bombs, but authorities say that recently there have also been some shootings and bombings targeting police stations and patrols.

Witnesses said that security forces cordoned off Dair after Saturday night's clashes, raiding several houses and making some arrests.

There were also clashes in several other Shiite villages, witnesses said.

At least 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since Arab Spring-inspired pro-democracy protests erupted in February 2011, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

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