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Saudi forces kill child in raid on Shia region

A picture circulated on social media shows the destruction that followed a Saudi raid against the Qatif area in Eastern Province, March 11, 2017.

Saudi forces have raided residential areas in the eastern, Shia-majority Qatif region, destroying buildings and killing a nine-year-old child.

A residential neighborhood was raided by Saudi forces in Qatif’s village of al-Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on Saturday. A minor named Walid Talal al-Ariz was killed and an unspecified number of other civilians were injured in the attack.

Regime forces deployed explosive devices during the operation.

Smoke billows from a residential neighborhood in the Qatif area of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province following a security raid on March 11, 2017.

On Friday, the Saudi Interior Ministry said police had shot dead a man in the area during what it called an exchange of fire. The man had previously been charged with committing crimes related to “terrorism,” it said.

Qatif has been the scene of widespread anti-regime protests since 2011. The Shia community there has been suffering from discrimination at the hands of the regime.

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

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

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