DUBAI — A large crowd attacked a police station outside the Bahraini capital with petrol bombs, police said late Saturday, as sporadic protests intensify in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf state.

"Some 150 people attacked with Molotov cocktails" in the Shiite village of Sitra, provincial police said in a statement carried by the official BNA news agency.

Security forces "managed to repel the attack by a group of terrorists," and arrested the driver of a car "carrying a large number of petrol bombs ready for use," the police statement said.

One police officer was lightly injured in the attack, it said, adding that security forces were searching for the culprits.

It was not immediately clear if the attack on the police station followed an anti-government demonstration in Sitra, a common occurence in Shiite villages since the Al-Khalifa ruling family bloodily crushed Shiite-led pro-democracy protests in March last year.

The tiny but strategic island state is the home base of the US Fifth Fleet.