Saudi Arab

Saudi Forces Raid Shiite-Populated District, Kill One

Saudi forces raided a neighborhood in al-Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and clashed with people there.

Early on Wednesday, Saudi forces carried out several raids on the al-Masoura neighborhood located in al-Awamiyah in Qatif region, killing a youth.

Pictures from the scene circulating on social media showed smoke rising over the area, where bulldozers, excavators and police armored cars were stationed.

There was no immediate comment from the interior ministry on the situation in al-Masoura.

However, reports suggest that the Saudi regime plans to wreck all buildings and houses in the Shiite-populated neighborhood.

A resident reported gunfire around al-Masoura and said children were not able to sit their school exams.

“People are so scared, so they have hidden in their houses”, the resident said, asking for anonymity, AFP reported.

Al-Awamiya, a town of 30,000 in the Shiite-majority Qatif district, was the home of Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric put to death in January last year over trumped-up charges.

The Shiite-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have ramped up security measures across the province.


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