Saudi police fire on Shia protest: Witnesses

Published: July 27, 2012
Live rounds fired by anti-riot police wounded number of protesters who took to streets in early hours, say witnesses. PHOTO: FILE

Live rounds fired by anti-riot police wounded number of protesters who took to streets in early hours, say witnesses. PHOTO: FILE

DUBAI: Saudi security forces opened fire on Shia protesters in the tense Qatif district of the Eastern Province Friday, wounding several as hundreds marched to demand the release of detainees, witnesses said.

Live rounds fired by anti-riot police wounded a number of protesters who took to the streets in the early hours, the witnesses said, without specifying a figure.

The interior ministry said security forces dealt with “rioters who burned tyres” in parts of Qatif, arresting several people, including Mohammed al Shakhuri, whose name figures on a list of 23 wanted people.

“There were no casualties,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

Witnesses said that Shakhuri had been taken to the military hospital in nearby Dhahran with bullet wounds to his back and neck.

The demonstrators carried posters of Shia detainees, including prominent cleric Nimr al Nimr, who was arrested earlier this month, witnesses said.

In recent days, confrontations have intensified between police and protesters from the kingdom’s marginalised Shia minority – estimated at around two million and mostly concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province.

Two Shia protesters were killed earlier this month, triggering attacks on government buildings in Qatif.

The district witnessed a spate of protests after an outbreak of violence between Shia pilgrims and religious police in the Muslim holy city of Medina in February last year.

The protests escalated when the kingdom led a force of Gulf troops into neighbouring Bahrain the following month to help crush a Shia-led uprising against the Sunni monarchy.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Hammad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Shias suffer from decades of discrimination in Saudi Arabia, from private sector jobs to public sector. They are treated as second class citizens in their own land. Btw, I’m a sunni who lived for more than 10 years in Saudi Arabia.


  • faheem
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Two Shia protesters who were killed on 14 July 2012, attacked a police station and were involved in drug trafficking , tht y they were on the wanted list and were killed during riots.

    “On July 14 SPA reported that four Saudi security personnel were injured in an attack by masked gunmen while on patrol in the oil-rich Eastern province. In that attack gunmen also fired at a police station and threw a petrol bomb while riding motorcycles, the Riyadh-based news service reported at the time.”


  • AIN
    Jul 27, 2012 - 4:06PM



  • Umer
    Jul 27, 2012 - 4:52PM

    Any Burma protesters daring to raise protest here? May be not.


  • Jibran
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:00PM

    Saudi Arab is epicenter of most of the ills of the Muslim world!


  • Jibran
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:03PM

    What can you say about a country, which is named after one family. They feel entitled to mercilessly slaughter their slaves, i.e., the citizens of Saudi Arab, and this is precisely what is happening.


    Jul 27, 2012 - 7:10PM

    We muslims can only protest killings of muslims if its done by non muslims.


  • Zalmai
    Jul 27, 2012 - 7:37PM

    I am waiting for TTP and DPC to condemn the Saudis for killing Muslims, but I am not going to hold my breath. The horror and the hypocrisy of Muslims is inexplicable.


  • Sonya
    Jul 28, 2012 - 4:07AM

    @faheem: Every time the unarmed civil protests are suppressed by the state by using force, ‘lying’ is used as Saudi state’s official policy to confuse the truth and propagandist like yourself are paid to spread the confusion. We have seen similar cases in Bahrain as they all drink from the same source.


  • 1984
    Jul 28, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Where are all the Rohingya victim apologists who kept writing “Please dont look at the religion,everyone is human “,”Violence in any form should be condemned” etc

    Will they shout if the oppressor is a fellow muslim????


  • shoaib hassan
    Jul 28, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Three cheers for wahabbis hip hip hurray. Three cheers for suppression hip hip hurray.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Jul 28, 2012 - 6:00PM

    The spillover effect of the Syrian conflict is responsible for the outbreak of sectarian violence in Iraq and Lebanon. Shia protesters in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are being cracked down by Sunni government forces. Does Iran play a role in these conflicts?


  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 29, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Saudi Arabia is not Pakistan where Shia shall be given foolproof tight security blanket with mobile phone services’ jamming facilities and where they shall be allowed to every thing whatever that want.Please live in Saudi Arabia within your limits and do whatever you want but in the confined places never on the roads………..


  • Aug 5, 2012 - 2:38PM


    There is nothing to protest about Burma. Just an inter-ethnic clashes that government is trying to put under control. Recommend

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