JNN 30 July 2013 RIYADH: Saudi security forces arrested nine Shiites after a gunbattle in the oil-rich east, one of them wanted over protests among the Shiite minority community, a Saudi-owned newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The nine were overpowered without casualty on Monday after the firefight in Awamiya, a protest flashpoint in the Wahabi-ruled Kingdom’s Eastern Province, interior ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
Saudi security forces raided Awwamiya village in Qatif today [July 30] to arrest Abbas Al-Mazraa. Al-Mazraa appeared on the 23 wanted persons list issued by the government for his participation in proteststhat swept Qatif with the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011. The raid lasted from 5.45am to 2pm.
Abbas Ali Mohammed al-Mazraa was on a list of 23 Saudis wanted in connection with the protests among the province’s two million Shiites that broke out in Match 2011, the paper said.
He barricaded himself in a house with the other eight Young Shiites, who were wanted by the Saudi Forces , who raided Al-Mazraa’s house under heavy gunfire which started a fire that burnt down the house and the cars around it.
Some neighboring offices were also damaged. According to Twitter users, firemen were prevented from reaching the fire for over two hours.
It was also reported that Al-Mazraa’s mother, aunt and sisters were taken to Awwamiya police station where they were held briefly then released.
It’s not the first time for security forces to attack and fire arbitrarily in a residential area. Last month, they killed Ali Al-Mahrous and Morsi Al-Rebh in Qatif.
The spokesman of the ministry of interior told the official government news agency, SPA, [ar] that Abbas Al-Mazraa and eight other men are accused of drug trafficking and that’s why they were arrested.
The 23 wanted persons are accused of causing disorder and riots, among other charges and were called to hand themselves over to authorities. Many of them denied all charges and said their only crime was protesting peacefully demanding their rights. Citizens in Qatif complain of the discrimination they face as Muslims of the Shiite sect, but the Al Saud government which is now responsible of Propagating the sectarianism all around the world , as under the US and west Plan , executed and sponsored by the Al Saud , are now fanning sectarianism across the world and terrorism is being linked to Islam to defame Islam .
The unrest in Eastern Province first erupted after violence between Shiite pilgrims and religious police in the Muslim holy city of Medina in February 2011.
The protests escalated when Saudi Arabia led a force of Gulf troops into neighbouring Bahrain the following month to help crush Shiite-led pro-democracy demonstrations in the tiny Wahabi-ruled Gulf kingdom.
Since March 2011, at least 20 people have been killed in the eastern province by security forces and 850 people were arrested. Around 190 are still in jail.
Of the 23 suspects on the wanted list, two have been killed in shootouts and 12 arrested, Asharq al-Awsat said .