Police in Bahrain say they have made a series of arrests over people "misusing social media" amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent in the tiny island kingdom.

An Interior Ministry statement late on Monday says those arrested were trying to "incite people or instigate people to abuse others." It offered no further details on the number of people arrested, nor their names.

Since April, Bahrain has seen a widening government's crackdown on opposition groups and dissent on a level unseen since its 2011 Arab Spring protest. Most recently, the Sunni-led government stripped citizenship from a prominent Shiite cleric, sparking an ongoing protest in front of the cleric's home.

Bahrain, a predominantly Shiite island off the coast of Saudi Arabia, is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.