Four die in eastern Saudi Arabia police raid
20 February, 2014 – BBC
Two police officers and two men they were trying to arrest have been killed in a gunfight in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, officials say.
The interior ministry said the officers came under fire while trying to detain “armed troublemakers” in al-Awamiya, and had “responded to the source”.
It named the civilians who were killed as Ali al-Faraj and Hussein al-Faraj.
However, opposition activists said there had been no exchange of fire and that the two men had been unarmed.
The police officers had burst into the house of a man in search of his wanted brother who was not there, they added.
Ali, the house owner’s 22-year-old son, was shot 11 times while running away, one activist told the Reuters news agency. Hussein, a 34-year-old local photographer, died “as he documented the raid”, the activist said.
The local news website mirataljazeera.net said Hussein had documented anti-government demonstrations and the funerals of the more than 20 people who have been killed in Eastern Province since early 2011.
The oil-rich Eastern Province is home to a Shia majority that has long complained of marginalisation at the hands of the Sunni ruling family.
Protests erupted there when the pro-democracy uprising in neighbouring Bahrain, which has a Shia majority and a Sunni royal family, was crushed with the assistance of Saudi and other Gulf troops. …more