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Protests supporting terror convicts turn violent, Saudi consulate in Iran set on fire
Sunday January 3, 2016 9:15 AM, Agencies

Tehran: Angry protesters against the execution of a Shia leader, convicted of terrorism, by Saudi Arabia set parts of Saudi consulate in fire in Iran's northeastern religious city of Mashhad on Saturday, Tabnak news website reported.

The protesters gathered in front of the Saudi consulate and chanted slogans against the Arab state's authorities, according to the report.

They pulled down the flag of Saudi Arabia from the building of the consulate and throw handmade crackers which caused fire in part of the building, it said.

In Bahrain, police fired teargas at several dozen people protesting against the cleric’s execution, a witness said. Demonstrators carrying pictures of Nimr faced security forces in a standoff in Abu-Saiba, a Shia village west of the capital, Manama.

Earlier, the Iranian government and Shia leaders while condemning Saudi Arabia’s execution of the Shia cleric convicted of terrorism along with 46 others had warned of repercussions.

In a serious escalation of religious and diplomatic tensions in the region, councils and clerics in Iran, Yemen and Lebanon said the killing of Nimr al-Nimr would prompt widespread anger, The Guardian reported.

The move came after the Saudi Interior Ministry announced on Saturday that 47 people, including the dissident leader, were executed in the Kingdom on terrorist charges.

The ministry statement, published on the official Saudi Press Agency, said the 47 had been convicted of adopting the radical "takfiri" ideology, joining "terrorist organizations" and implementing various "criminal plots."

Most of those executed were involved in a series of attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda from 2003-06 that killed Saudis and foreigners in the Kingdom, the interior ministry statement added.

Among those executed, 45 were of Saudi nationality, alongside one Chadian and one Egyptian, according to a list of names and nationalities published by SPA.

The 47 men were based across 12 regions in the Kingdom and the executions were carried out in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province, the interior ministry statement added.

They were convicted of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks targeting civilians and security forces in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries.

The Interior Ministry statement began with verses from the Qur’an and state television showed footage of the aftermath of Al-Qaeda attacks in the last decade that killed hundreds.

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just.

The simultaneous execution of 47 people on security grounds was the biggest such event in Saudi Arabia since the 1980 killing of 63 jihadi rebels who seized Mecca’s Grand Mosque in 1979.

The executions are Saudi Arabia’s first in 2016. At least 157 people were put to death last year, a significant increase on the 90 people killed in 2014.



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