Little Child dies of Saudi gunshot wounds in Awamiyah
A child has succumbed to injuries he had sustained after being shot by Saudi forces during their deadly attacks on the besieged Shia town of Awamiyah.
Taghrid Ahrar Twitter account reported that Sajjad Abu Abdullah died on Wednesday.
Media reports said Saudi forces shot the five-year-old boy in the abdomen about two months ago.
The news comes as activists reported that Saudi forces continued the crackdown on Awamiyah and launched a new wave of shelling attacks against Shokr-Allah district in the town on Wednesday. A Saudi soldier was reportedly killed in the area recently.
Footage released on Tuesday also showed Saudi forces storming and desecrating mosques and Shia Husseiniyas (religious centers) in al-Masoura neighborhood in Awamiyah as part of the campaign.
Reports also said on Tuesday that Saudi forces arrested a Shia activist identified as Mohammed Abu Abdullah.
Awamiyah has witnessed an increase in anti-regime protests and an ensuing crackdown, with the Saudi regime pushing ahead with its controversial razing of the al-Masoura neighborhood.
Authorities claim the district’s narrow streets have become a hideout for militants who they accuse of being behind attacks on security forces in Eastern Province.
Security forces equipped with heavy weapons have been deployed in Awamiyah since May 10, following fierce clashes between the regime forces and locals protesting against the destruction.
Bulldozers escorted by armored vehicles have demolished several houses, businesses and historical sites across the Shia-majority region over the past few weeks.
Ali al-Dubisi, the head of the Berlin-based European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, has expressed serious concerns over the situation in Awamiyah. He says the regime forces are following a scorched land policy in the region, launching endless rocket attacks and shelling residential buildings and civilians there.
Since February 2011, Saudi Arabia has stepped up security measures in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province, which has been rocked by anti-regime demonstrations, with protesters demanding free speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism law so as to repress pro-democracy movements.