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Gunmen shoot dead five Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia Open in fullscreen

Al-Araby al-Jadeed

Gunmen shoot dead five Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia

Ashura marked by Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia (AFP-Getty)

Date of publication: 4 November, 2014

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Masked gunmen open fire on a gathering of Shia Muslims commemorating Ashura in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Five people were killed and many others injured following an attack by unidentified gunmen in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ahsa region in the Eastern province.

The attack by masked gunmen targetd a gethering of  Shia Muslims commemorating the day of Ashura marking the  martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet in 680.

Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia took to the streets in recent years, to complain of oppression and margilisatio.

The  protests were brutally suppressed by security forces.

There were conflicting reports about the number of those killed.

A family member of one of the victims told al-Araby al-Jadeed that at least six were killed, amongst them were at least three children.

 “Six people were killed, their ages ranging from 8 to 8 years old. The list includes three children; Mahdi Eid al-Musharaf, Abdullah Mohammad al-Yussuf, and Mohammad Hussein al-Basrawi, as well as three young men; Zuheir Habib al-Motawaa, Mohammad Abdullah al Musharaf, and Hassan Hussein al-Ali. Nine others were injured.”

Colonel Ziad al-Ruqeiti, media spokesman for the Eastern region police confirmed the incident.
Tensions during Ashura are traditionally high in neighbouring Iraq, where a deep sectarian schism  between Sunni and Shia Muslims has led to the death of thousands of people from both communities.

Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahhabi doctrine is fiercely critical of the Shia school of Islam, and extremist Muslim groups such as the Islamic State have been  inspired by this radical interpretation of Islam.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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