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Thousands attend burial of Shia killed in Saudi rampage

Shia marking Ashura [al-Araby]

Date of publication: 7 November, 2014

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Thousands of mourners on Friday joined the funeral of eight people killed during an unprecedented rampage against minority Shia in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.

Thousands of mourners on Friday joined the funeral of eight people killed during an unprecedented rampage against minority Shia in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.

Seven of the dead were killed when masked gunmen opened fire on Monday night at a crowd in Al-Dalwa town, as Shia Muslims commemorated Ashura.

An eighth, from a neighbouring village, was killed by the assailants as they robbed his car to use in the attack, residents and local press said.

Mourners poured into Al-Dalwa from across the Sunni-dominated kingdom this week, with some joining from neighbouring Bahrain.

"Sunnis and Shia, we are brothers! We shall not abandon our homeland," chanted the crowd, according to footage aired online, amid calls to reject sectarianism.

Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef on Wednesday visited the families of the murdered civilians, as well as the wounded in hospital, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The kingdom's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said such crimes were "against the teachings of Islam and create chaos among the ummah", or community of believers, SPA reported.

Since 2011 protests and sporadic attacks on security forces have occurred in Shia areas of Eastern Province, where the minority community complains of marginalisation.

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