Saudi Military Bulldoze Old Town of Mosowara, Sparking Tensions Against Shia Minority

Published May 30th, 2017 - 01:00 GMT
Quran is read in Qatif on the first day of Ramadan. (AFP)
Quran is read in Qatif on the first day of Ramadan. (AFP)

Two police officers were injured in a roadside bomb attack in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province on Monday.

An improvised explosive device (IED) was used against authorities protecting demolition workers in the old quarter of al-Awamiya town on Monday morning, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned SPA news agency reported.

The attack, which was reported on Tuesday, was the latest in a series of violent protests in the Qatif province over the past month.

A rocket propelled grenade on an army convoy killed one soldier and injured five others on May 16, after soldiers were used in the demolition of residential neighbourhoods.

The Saudi authorities began bulldozing the town’s traditional Mosawara neighbourhood with the support of the military on 10 May, causing a fierce backlash from the local community.

The reconstruction plans involved the demolition of 488 residential units, which residents have described as "vandalism".

The area is said to be over 200 years old and the authorities are seeking to replace the area with more modern architecture, including a shopping centre, office buildings and parks.

The town has been the epicentre of massive unrest since Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric from the town, was executed by Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2016 for his involvement in anti-government protests.

Copyright @ 2022 The New Arab.

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