Saudi razes hundreds of houses in Shia-majority town

 

Saudi Arabia has reportedly laid waste to at least 320 houses in an eastern Shia-majority town, which it has placed under siege for about three months.

Local activists reported the figure on Monday, saying the structures in Awamiyah had mostly been populated by Shia Muslims.

They said Saudi forces also flattened four mosques and three Husainiyahs — centers for Shia mourning rituals.

Awamiyah is located in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Shia-populated Eastern Province. Since 2011, the small town of 30,000 has served as the epicenter of anti-regime rallies, with the protesters calling for an end to the kingdom’s discriminatory policies against the country’s Shia minority.

The region has witnessed sporadic deaths of Saudi forces at the hands of unknown gunmen. Riyadh blames the Shia population for such assaults.

 

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