Saudi Forces Attack Houses in Shiite Town of Awamiya

Saudi Forces Attack Houses in Shiite Town of Awamiya

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Security forces in Saudi Arabia reportedly raided a number of houses in the Shiite-majority town of Awamiya in the Qatif region, as the Saudi regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on dissent continues unabated.

Activists of the Free Youth Movement (Harakat Shabab al-Ahrar) reported the attacks in a message posted on the organization’s Facebook page on Sunday.

The Saudi regime forces are said to have surrounded the houses in several neighborhoods in the town where shooting was purportedly heard.

No casualties were reported in the operation and the forces later left the area without making any arrests.

On December 20, 2014, at least five people were killed by Saudi forces in Awamiya while several people were also arrested. The Saudi Interior Ministry only confirmed four deaths.

Media reports suggested that the victims were pro-democracy activists and anti-regime campaigners, Press TV reported.

There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protestors calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination. Several people have been killed and many others have been injured or arrested during the demonstrations.

The Persian Gulf monarchy has come under fire from international human rights organizations, which have criticized it for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. Critics say the country shows zero tolerance toward dissent.

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