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Saudi Arabia Executes Top Shiite Cleric, 46 Others Over Terror Charges

Saudi Arabia has executed the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the interior ministry said.

He was among 47 people put to death after being convicted of terrorism offences, it said in a statement.

Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in Eastern Province in 2011, where a Shia majority have long complained of marginalisation.

Shia-lead Iran said Saudi Arabia would pay a “high price” for the execution.

A foreign ministry spokesman said Riyadh “supports terrorists… while executing and suppressing critics inside the country”.

Iran is the main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

The executions were carried out simultaneously in 12 locations across Saudi Arabia.

Those also put to death include Sunnis convicted of involvement in al-Qaeda-linked terror attacks in 2003.

Of the 47 executed, one was a Chadian national while another was Egyptian. The rest are Saudis.

The cleric’s nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was arrested following the demonstrations and also faces execution, was not listed as one of those killed.

BBC

 

 

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