Amir condoles death of Saudi officer

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KUWAIT CITY, June 12, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent Monday a cable to King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, expressing his sorrow over the terror incident in Qatif governorate which led to the death of a police officer and injury to others.

His Highness the Amir condemned in the strongest terms the heinous terror attack which disturbed peace and security in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, affirming that Kuwait stood against terrorism and its perpetrators.

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah expressed similar sentiments in their cables sent to the Saudi King.

A homemade explosive device killed the senior Saudi police officer in the Shiite town where deadly violence has flared in recent weeks, the interior ministry said on Monday. Major Tariq al-Alaqi was killed and two policemen were wounded in the blast late Sunday in Awamiya, the ministry said in a statement They were patrolling the town’s old Almosara neighbourhood, where unrest has escalated in recent weeks around a redevelopment project. Alaqi is at least the fourth person to have been killed in the violence.

The interior ministry has implicated criminals involved in the drug and arms trade in the violence in Awamiya. Awamiya, in Eastern Province, has seen repeated security incidents in recent years. It was the home of Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric put to death in January last year for “terrorism”. Nimr was a driving force behind protests by Shiites that began in 2011 and developed into a call for equality in the Sunni-majority kingdom.

Most of Saudi Arabia’s Shiites live in Eastern Province and have long complained of marginalisation. Nimr’s brother Mohammed al-Nimr was wounded in gunfire that erupted after the police major’s death, said his nephew who shares the same name. “He was outside his home. He got shot in his lower leg,” the nephew told AFP, blaming security forces. “His leg got broken and he’s still in the hospital.”

Last month, gunfire killed two civilians and a rocket-propelled grenade left a policeman dead in the Almosara area. Three United Nations rights experts have called on Saudi Arabia to halt demolitions in the 400-year-old Almosara district which, they said, caused “injury, deaths and material losses to the civilians”.

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