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Saudi police arrest suspect wanted for ‘sedition’

Published:

A Saudi suspect, Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, wanted for “sedition” was arrested in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province late on Sunday after being shot in the leg by police in an exchange of fire, the Interior Ministry said.

“When the aforementioned person and those with him tried to resist the security men and initiated shooting and crashed into one of the security patrols while trying to escape, he was dealt with in accordance with the situation and responded to in kind and arrested after he was wounded in his thigh,” the state news agency reported, citing Major General Mansour Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

Turki said Nimr had been taken to hospital for treatment.

The suspect was among a list of 22 other Shiites wanted by the Saudi security forces. Activists said his arrest had sparked protests in the village of Awamiya, which is in the Qatif district.

A Saudi official, meanwhile, denied that the police were targeting Shiites and said that both Sunnis and Shiites are arrested when “they call for violence.”

Nimr has been accused by the Saudi press of having connection to Iranian officials. His wife has been sent in the past by the government to the U.S. for medical treatment.

A report by Reuters, meanwhile, said that two men had been killed
during the operation of arresting of Nimr.

“Security authorities had been notified by a nearby medical center on the arrival of four individuals brought in by their relatives,” Turki said in a comment sent to Reuters.

“Two of them were dead, the other two were slightly injured. Competent authorities initiated investigations in the incident,” the statement said.