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Posted at 04:54 PM ET, 07/11/2012

Saudi Shiites swarm funeral of slain demonstrator, incite violence (video)

In a rare display of civil disobedience, protesters in Saudi Arabia swarmed the funeral of a man shot dead for protesting the arrest of a well-known Shiite cleric, clashing with security forces and hurling Molotov cocktails late Tuesday, according to news reports and video clips from the eastern part of the country.

Videos from Qatif – a coastal town on the Persian Gulf near neighboring Bahrain – offer an atypical look at civil unrest inside Saudi Arabia, a nation relatively unaffected by the democratic movements that have roiled the Middle East and North Africa.
Protesters hold pictures of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a rally in the coastal town of Qatif, against Sheikh Nimr's arrest on July 8, 2012. Sheikh Nimr, a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric who was wanted by police, was detained in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on Sunday over calls for more rights for the minority Muslim sect in the Sunni monarchy, his brother and an activist said. (Reuters)

Ahmed Al Omran, a prominent Saudi blogger, posted a short clip showing protesters heaving homemade firebombs at a police car in protest of the cleric’s arrest and subsequent shootings:

According to a report by Reuters, the demonstrators gathered in force during the funeral of Mohamed al-Felfel, one of two men killed over the weekend while protesting the arrest of Saudi cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Al-Nimr is being held on sedition charges.

Activists told Russian Television that the two men were killed over the weekend by “police snipers,” a claim the Saudi government denies. The scope of the protests can be seen in this RT clip:

For more videos, check out the New York Times’ Robert Mackey’s blog, The Lede.

And for more images and reactions from the Web to the protests in Qatif, scroll below:


View Qatif in a larger map

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By Benjamin Gottlieb  |  04:54 PM ET, 07/11/2012

Tags:  World

 
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