'Wanted man' killed in Saudi Shia village raid
A man who was wanted by Saudi authorities was killed by security forces when they raided his home in the Shia dominated eastern province.
Abdul-Rahim al-Faraj was killed in the Awamiya village located in the kingdom's oil-rich eastern province after an exchange of gunfire with security forces on Wednesday night.
"Security forces were later informed that a person who was fatally wounded by a gunshot had arrived at Mudar clinic and his identity check showed it was the wanted man Abdul-Rahim al-Faraj," SPA reported, quoting an interior ministry spokesman.
His brother, Majed al-Faraj who is also wanted by police, was involved in the shootout but was unharmed, Saudi State news agency SPA said.
The two brothers were wanted for their alleged involvement in attacks that killed several security forces and armed robberies in Awamiya – the home town of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr whose execution in January sparked worldwide condemnation as well as protests across the region.
The raid comes as discontent rises among Shias in neighbouring Bahrain after authorities revoked the citizenship of Ayatollah Isa Qassim – a top Shia cleric in the country.
Bahraini authorities accused Sheikh Isa Qassim of sowing sectarian divisions and had abused his position to "serve foreign interests and promote... sectarianism and violence", the interior ministry said, quoted by the BNA state news agency.
Qassim had been a strong proponent of "absolute allegiance to the clergy", while maintaining continuous contact with "organisations and parties that are enemies of the kingdom", it charged.