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Video shows attack on Saudi intelligence compound in Qatif

This January 5, 2016 file photo shows a bus belonging to Saudi Arabia's biggest oil producing company, Saudi Aramco, being set on fire in the eastern coastal city of Qatif.

A new video has emerged on the social media showing that Saudi intelligence center in the eastern city of Qatif comes under attack, with speculations that the move is related to Riyadh’s recent execution of senior Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

The video, dated January 9, 2016, and published on Monday, showed masked men throwing firebombs at the building compound in Qatif, a predominantly Shia town in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry confirmed the attack, saying, “...there was a failed terrorist attempt to burn the building with Molotov cocktails.” He added that one of the assailants had been captured.

The video showed the men lobbing firebombs over the protective outer wall of the building compound, with most of the firebombs exploding on the ground inside, setting a nearby tree on fire.

A footnote accompanying the video said the attack was carried out by Shia youth in revenge for the execution of Sheikh Nimr, although the authenticity of the claims could not be verified.

Saudi Arabia on January 2 executed Nimr along with 46 other convicts. The move sparked global outrage. A highly respected figure among Saudi Shias, Nimr had been arrested in 2012 and convicted of sedition in 2014.

Saudi men hold placards bearing portraits of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr during a protest on January 8, 2016 in the eastern coastal city of Qatif against his execution by Saudi authorities earlier in the week. (AFP photo)

Shia activists in eastern Saudi Arabia condemned the recent attack, saying such moves could embolden the Saudi regime to step up its crackdown on ongoing peaceful protests taking place in Qatif and other towns since Nimr’s execution.

The attack comes nearly one week after a bus carrying workers of Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, was set on fire near Qatif. Authorities said none of the workers, who were mostly Shias, had been injured in the attack.

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