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Saudi regime forces raid Shia-populated Qatif, 7 injured

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – At least seven people have sustained injuries when Saudi regime forces carried out an operation in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its brutal clampdown against pro-democracy campaigners and political dissidents.

The Arabic-language Ahrar television network, in a post published on its official Twitter page on Wednesday, reported that Saudi troopers raided a house behind Fatah Mosque in the Kawkab neighborhood of Qatif region, located more than 420 kilometers (260 miles) east of the capital Riyadh, leaving a number of people injured.

There were reportedly elderly people among those injured.

Saudi Arabia has recently stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified security measures in the kingdom’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Regime forces have increased security measures across the province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to also target activism.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.

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