Shiite Muslims held protests in eastern Saudi Arabia after an outbreak of violence between Shiite pilgrims and religious police in Medina, a Saudi human rights activist said on Wednesday. Hundreds of people joined two protests late on Tuesday near the city of Qatif in Eastern Province, Ibrahim Mugaiteeb of the Human Rights First Society told AFP.
According to him, anti-riot police sought to break up the demonstrations.
The protests followed an outbreak of violence between Shiite pilgrims and security forces in the holy city of Medina in western Saudi Arabia late Monday. The interior ministry said nine people were detained in the violence near Al-Baqi cemetery adjacent to the Prophet Mohammed's mosque.
According to accounts from Saudi Shiite Muslims, the pilgrims were angered when Sunni religious police made videos of Shiite women in their group last week. "People are really angry," Mugaiteeb said, noting that few Saudi Muslims of any confession accept women being photographed or filmed without permission.