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Shia woman injured amid Saudi regime forces’ raid on Qatif

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)
This picture shows the aftermath of an assault by Saudi regime forces on the Shia-populated region of Qatif, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, on October 17, 2018. (Photo via Twitter)

A young woman has been shot and injured after Saudi regime forces stormed the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated 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 number of neighborhoods across Qatif region, located more than 420 kilometers (260 miles) east of the capital Riyadh, firing stun grenades, tear gas canisters and live bullets.

Power supplies were cut off in the wake of the operations, and a fire even broke out in the Bab al-Shamal neighborhood.

Local sources, requesting not to be named, said a woman suffered gunshot wounds after bullets ripped through the wall of her apartment.

Her relatives sought to transfer the woman to a nearby hospital, but were not allowed to do so for about half an hour by regime forces in the area.

The sources added that regime forces were trying to round out a number of political dissidents during the operations.

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

Saudi regime forces have also intensified crackdown in 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 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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