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Saudis protest Awamiyah deadly raid by security forces

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows Saudi citizens holding an anti-regime protest in al-Awamiyah, Eastern Province.

Saudis have taken to the streets of the Shia-populated village al-Awamiyah to condemn a recent deadly assault by security forces.

Wednesday's event came one day after the Saudi forces raided Awamiyah in the east, killing a Bahraini Shia man and injuring 26 others.

The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the victim as Ali Mahmoud Ali Abdullah, claiming that the man had opened fire on Saudi troops.

Local activists, however, dismissed the ministry's assertion, saying that Abdullah was not armed.

A witness to the incident also said having seen the body of a second individual lying in the street, adding, "People said an armored vehicle hit him.”

Awamiyah, located in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, has witnessed peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.

Denouncing Riyadh’s oppressive policies against the country’s Shia minority, protesters are calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination.

Several people have been killed and many others injured or arrested during the rallies.

Saudi Arabia has come under fire from international human rights organizations for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom.

Awamiyah was the scene of protests last month after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, among them prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, causing international outrage and a serious escalation of tensions in the region.

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