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Bombs in Bahrain’s capital
kill two foreigners

CAIRO — Five bombs exploded in the capital of Bahrain on Monday, killing two foreign workers and critically injuring a third, in a sharp intensification of the violence that has simmered in the island nation since the beginning of a pro-democracy uprising 21 months ago.

The government said the bombs, which detonated in three districts in the capital, Manama, were improvised explosive devices filled with nails. One victim was killed after kicking a bomb, causing i

Bahraini officials called the bombings a terrorist attack and said an investigation had begun. The officials did not identify any suspects, although the state news agency quoted a government minister, Sameera Ibrahim bin Rajab, who blamed unnamed “religious figures” for inciting violence, a possible reference to the head of the largest opposition group.

The bombings Monday, apparently aimed at civilians, seemed to open a dangerous new phase in the conflict. Some of the government’s opponents immediately raised questions about the timing of the bombings, which came a few days after the monarchy drew international condemnation for banning protests. Human rights advocates called the decree part of an escalating crackdown on dissent.

On Friday, the authorities arrested Said Yousif al-Muhafdah, a Bahraini human right activist who monitored protests. His lawyer said Muhafdah, who is charged with illegal gatherings and unauthorized protests, could face up to two years in prison.

—Kareem Fahim, The New York Times

Still reeling from one storm, Northeast prepares for another

The Northeast is now bracing for a potentially lethal nor’easter expected to bring rain, punishing winds and high tides that could add to the misery of residents still reeling from Hurricane Sandy and set back the restoration of power.

Forecasters are tracking a storm developing off the Southeast coast that is expected to make a turn northward and intensify Tuesday before hitting the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States by Wednesday, and continuing into Thursday.

The National Weather Service is predicting that the storm could produce sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts of up to 60 mph in the New York region by Wednesday afternoon. The storm could cause more power failures and minor to moderate flooding along the coastal areas that were devastated by the hurricane last week, said David Stark, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.

Stark said that tidal surges of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet at the peak of high tide Wednesday night could behave unpredictably along the South Shore of Long Island and western Long Island Sound, landscapes altered by Hurricane Sandy.

“Some of the dunes are gone, so there is some definite uncertainty there on what the impacts will be with a moderate coastal storm surge,” he said.

Temperatures along the coast are expected to dip into the 30s on Wednesday night but should climb into the 50s on Thursday. The system is expected to move out by the afternoon.

Inland areas in the lower Hudson Valley, northeastern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut could see a mix of sleet and snow early Wednesday, changing to rain later.

The storm and its damage are not expected to approach the hurricane’s devastation. But given the harm last week to homes, businesses, coastlines, the electric grid and the spirits of people without power for a week, a second storm seems certain to compound the damage.

The utilities scrambled Monday to prepare for the storm while still battling to restore power lost during the hurricane.

—Peter Applebome, The New York Times