Saudi regime forces have reportedly shot and killed a young man in the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province as deadly fighting escalates there.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, said 22-year-old Wahab Fakri al-Ma’yuf died on Wednesday afternoon after Saudi troops opened fire at a group of protesters in the town of Awamiyah, located some 390 kilometers (242 miles) northeast of the capital Riyadh, London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network reported.
A number of people also sustained injuries during the turmoil. A little boy is said to be in a critical condition.
Regime snipers stationed on rooftops
The development came only hours after snipers were stationed on the rooftops of government buildings and entrances of Awamiyah.
Saudi forces also ordered the entire staff of civil defense department in the town to evacuate the building and take all equipment inside away with them.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Saudi soldiers have launched a number of rocket-propelled grenades at al-Deira neighborhood of Awamiyah.
Regime forces also used incendiary bombs, filled with highly combustible chemicals, in the al-Mosara area.
Several artillery rounds slammed into al-Shamli, Shokrallah and al-Jamimah neighborhoods, though no immediate reports of casualties were available.
Saudi regime forces have laid siege to Awamiyah for more than a week in the wake of fierce clashes with local residents, who are irate at the demolition of the historic al-Mosara neighborhood for a planned development project.
Pictures and videos of bulldozers, escorted by heavily armored military vehicles and heading towards the site, have gone viral.
Activists say Awamiyah locals are suffering severe water shortage and are using private generators to produce electricity.
Last week, Saudi regime forces shot dead a two-and-a-half year old child and a young man in Awamiyah. Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website reported that the child’s mother was also critically injured in the Thursday attack.
The kingdom’s Shia-majority Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners as well as an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-producing region.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the Saudi regime.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism law so as to repress pro-democracy movements.