Bahrain says nine people have been sentenced to life in prison after trial on charges of bomb-making in the restive Gulf nation.

Monday's verdicts mark the latest in a series of recent court decisions that have raised tensions in the strategic kingdom, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has been locked in unrest since early 2011, when majority Shiites started an uprising for greater political rights.

The official Bahrain News Agency says life sentences and fines were handed down to four suspects in custody and five in absentia. The charges also include attempts to target police with attacks.

Violence has risen in Bahrain with recent bombings. Last week, Bahrain set an Oct. 24 trial date for a prominent Shiite political figure, Khalil al-Marzooq, on "terrorism" charges.