One Shiite protester killed in eastern Saudi Arabia

Published January 13th, 2012 - 12:37 GMT
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

The spokesman of the Saudi Ministry of Interior on Friday said that during a routine security patrol in the town of Awamiya in Qatif province (eastern Saudi Arabia) last night, the vehicle was attacked by a Molotov cocktail, which led to a fire.

Spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said that while the security men tried to control the flames shot were fired towards them. Following the exchange of fire two attackers were hurt. They were taken to hospital where one of them died later.

However, other sources reported about a different incident. Eyewitnesses and human rights sources said a young Shiite was killed and three others were injured in clashes with the police forces. The sources confirmed "the killing of Isam Mohammed Abu Abdullah (22 years) with gunshot wounds in different parts of his body after he was shot by security forces." They said the victim was part of a group of youngsters throw stones on security vehicles in the town of Awamiya.

The sources added that the wounded were "Mohammed Saeed, Mursi Ribh and Abdullah Alsoiml whose car was hit by a burst of bullets when he crossed a checkpoint at the  entrance to the town."

The demonstrations were held in the eastern towns including Awamiya, demanding the "release of political prisoners, the implementation of political reforms and ending sectarian discrimination" (against the Shiites).

Qatif witnessed violent events during November 2011 when four Shiite protesters were killed as well. The Saudi Interior Ministry earlier this year ANNOUNCED the names of 23 people wanted on charges of "hooliganism" in the eastern region.

The oil rich eastern region of Saudi Arabia houses the Shiites, who make up about 10 percent of Saudi Arabia's population. It witnessed limited demonstrations since the outbreak of the "Arab Spring".


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