Two Shiites were killed in clashes with police early Monday in the region of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia. The clashes started after the arrest of a vocal critique of the Saudi authorities, said activists. They were killed when police intervened to disperse a protest against the arrest of Shiite cleric named Nimr Baqer Al-Nimr, said the sources.
A dozen of protesters were shot and wounded during the dispersal of the march which took place in the main street of the city of Qatif, the sources said.
The Saudi authorities announced late Sunday the arrest of the Shiite cleric, accusing him of sedition. The man was shot in the leg while trying to resist the police and taken to a hospital before being questioned, said the spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry.
In a sermon delivered ten days ago at a mosque in Awamiya, home to the Shiite protest, the cleric was confident he would be arrested or killed, saying he had only "heightened" the claims by his supporters.