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Arrest of Shi'ite cleric causes sectarian tension in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia

Arrest of Shi'ite cleric causes sectarian tension in Saudi Arabia

Thousands of Shi’ite Muslims attended the funeral of a man shot dead as police arrested a Shi’ite cleric for sedition in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Mohamed al-Felfel was one of two people killed on Sunday in clashes with the authorities.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who has now been released, says the persecution of Shi’ites is tied to the contentious relationship between majority Sunni Saudi and predominantly Shi’ite Iran.

“Why don’t you attack the ‘foreign country’? Why do you attack us, a few dozen poor souls. If a ‘foreign country’ is responsible, then attack the source of the problem, attack Iran. If it’s Iran you mean, then attack it, and let’s see what you’re capable of,” al-Nimr said during a fiery address.

The unrest is threatening to become a volatile situation in an area of the Kingdom where most of the Shi’ite minority lives.

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