Mon Jul 31, 2017 09:02AM
This photo shows an armored bulldozer razing buildings in the al-Masoura neighborhood of al-Awamiyah.
This photo shows an armored bulldozer razing buildings in the al-Masoura neighborhood of al-Awamiyah.
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A footage circulating on social media shows Saudi soldiers atop rooftops in Awamiyah firing a full array of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades, at residential buildings in the besieged Shia-populated town.

More than people have been killed and many others wounded in more than 80 days of tensions in Awamiyah, as the regime continues with its heavy-handed crackdown in Eastern Province.

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 which 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 heavily armored military 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, on Sunday expressed serious concerns over the situation in Awamiyah.

He said the regime forces were following a scorched land policy in the region, launching endless rocket attacks and shelling residential buildings and civilians there.

Residents, he said, are barricaded in their homes but they are resisting Saudi pressures to evacuate the area.

Saudi officer killed in restive Qatif

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said a policeman had been killed in a rocket attack in the Qatif region

A ministry statement, carried by state news agency SPA, said the officer was killed as a police patrol came under a rocket attack in al-Masoura on Sunday.

According to the statement, the attack also left six other policemen wounded. The ministry noted that the injured were hospitalized and in a stable condition.

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 Saudi regime. Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism law so as to repress pro-democracy movements.