The following pictures depict the aftermath of Saudi Arabia’s deadly crackdown on the besieged Shia town of Awamiyah which has forced thousands of its residents to flee their homes.
Awamiyah, located in the eastern Qatif region, has been under military lockdown since May, when Saudi troops began destroying al-Mosara.
Riyadh claims al-Mosara has become a hideout for “militants,” who are behind attacks on security forces in Eastern Province, but locals and the United Nations say the regime is after erasing cultural heritage in the Shia town and redeveloping the area.
- Saudi bulldozers reduce Awamiyah to rubble as residents flee violence
- Video shows Saudi forces firing rockets at Shia homes in Awamiyah
- Saudi forces set ablaze Shia homes in restive Awamiyah
On Wednesday, foreign journalists were witness to the destruction wrought by Saudi forces on the town after being permitted entry for the first time.
Citing estimates by locals, Reuters reported that at least 20,000 people had either fled or been forcefully evacuated to neighboring towns since Riyadh’s crackdown began.
Since 2011, Eastern Province has been the scene of anti-regime demonstrations, with the protesters calling for freedom of speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination exercised by authorities.