• Saudi Shia-Muslim town under 'siege' for sixth day

A town has entered the sixth day under "siege" from the Aal-e Saud’s security services, with several people reportedly killed in clashes between police and protesters.

According to Press TV, Saudi forces started their attack on Awamiyah on May 10, using gunships and heavy weapons. The city in the Eastern Province has a large Shia-Muslim population.

The Saudi regime says the aim of the raid is to allow the demolition of the historic Almosara neighborhood to make way for a planned renovation project. 

Activists have posted pictures and videos of bulldozers being accompanied by heavily armored military vehicles towards the site.

They say the residents of Awamiyah are suffering severe water shortage and are able to access power only from private generators.

Ameen Nemer, an activist originally from Awamiyah, told Middle East Eye online news portal that most of the entrances to the village have been blocked off so that "cars hardly go out or get in".

"The cleaners are not allowed to go there to collect the rubbish, neither are the firefighters allowed to do the job of extinguishing fires wherever it happens, neither are ambulances allowed to enter Awamiyah," he said.

"It's really hard for people and you can imagine these army vehicles, they would open fire like 24 hours. People can't sleep. You have these vehicles going back to where they come and then you have new ones come to replace these soldiers," he added.

Last month, UN special rapporteur Leilani Farha warned that the controversial project threatened the historical and cultural heritage of Awamiyah “with irreparable harm".

SS

May 15, 2017 16:26 UTC
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