Bahrain's interior ministry says two policemen have been wounded, one critically, when a homemade bomb exploded in a village southwest of the capital, Manama.

The ministry said in a statement on its official Twitter feed that the explosion happened early Tuesday in the village of Demistan. The area has been the scene of frequent clashes between anti-government activists and Bahrain security forces.

Bahrain is a small island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

More than 65 people have been killed in violence since protests led by the country's Shiite majority began in February 2011 calling for a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation. Some rights groups place the death toll higher.

Anti-government factions have been increasingly deploying bombs targeting government forces.