Saudi interior ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki holds sheet of paper with pictures of 23 men wanted for involvement
Saudi interior ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki holds sheet of paper with pictures of 23 men wanted for involvement in trouble in Shiite areas of the kingdom during a news conference at the Saudi Officers club in Riyadh on January 2. Three Saudis wanted for their presumed involvement in unrest in the Eastern Province turned themselves in on Tuesday and two others were arrested. © Fayez Nureldine - AFP/File
Saudi interior ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki holds sheet of paper with pictures of 23 men wanted for involvement
AFP
Last updated: January 3, 2012

Saudis wanted over Shiite troubles turn themselves in

Three Saudis wanted for their presumed involvement in unrest in Shiite areas of the kingdom's Eastern Province turned themselves in on Tuesday and two others were arrested, the interior ministry said.

Ministry spokesman General Mansur Turki, quoted by state news agency SPA, also urged the remainder of nearly two dozen wanted people to give themselves up.

On Monday, Saudi authorities announced the names of 23 men wanted for involvement in trouble during the past few months in Eastern Province.

The group is accused mainly of "possessing illegal firearms and opening fire on the public and police, in addition to using innocent people as shields," the interior ministry said.

They were suspected of taking part in "mobs, blocking traffic (and) damaging public and private property" during sporadic confrontations between police and Shiite protesters.

In March, protests shook Eastern Province as Shiites took to the street denouncing military intervention in neighbouring Bahrain to back a crackdown on a Shiite pro-democracy movement.

A total of 385 people arrested, of whom around 60 remain in custody, according to activists.

Saudi Arabia's estimated two million Shiites mostly live in Eastern Province and complain of being marginalised in the oil-rich, Sunni-majority kingdom.

Four Shiites were shot dead in November. The interior ministry said security forces had come under fire from gunmen operating on "foreign orders," hinting at involvement by Saudi's arch rival, Iran.

blog comments powered by Disqus