IQNA

17:09 - January 09, 2019
News ID: 3467667
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Six people were killed and one arrested in a “security operation” in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Al-Qatif region earlier this week, Riyadh has confirmed.

 

The state news agency reported on Wednesday that the operation was carried out on Monday, according to Reuters.

Earlier, media reports said Saudi forces had stormed a small village in the kingdom’s Shia-populated Qatif region, killing five and injuring an unspecified number of people.

Social media users reported clashes, mortar attacks and shooting in Umm al-Hamam on Monday, releasing the names of some of the victims.

Local sources said that Saudi forces had encircled the village for 15 hours and looted houses during the raid, which was claimed to be aimed at finding wanted people, Press TV reported.

Qatif, situated in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, has witnessed anti-regime protests since 2011, with demonstrators demanding free speech, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination.

Riyadh has suppressed pro-democracy rallies, but they have intensified since January 2016 when the Al Saud regime executed respected Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

In 2017, Awamiyah, another Shia-populated Qatif town, witnessed a deadly military crackdown on protests against the regime’s attempt to raze the historical Musawara neighborhood of the town under the pretext of “renovating” the area.

Saudi rulers claimed the district’s narrow streets served as a hideout for armed men behind attacks on Riyadh’s forces in Eastern province.

Riyadh then deployed military forces with heavy weapons to the town, while bulldozers escorted by heavily armored military vehicles demolished several houses, businesses and historical sites across the Shia-majority region.

Dozens of civilians were killed in the weeks-long military crackdown. Some 30,000 people also fled the town.

Tags: IQNA ، Qatif ، Saudi
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