World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two men had been killed after protests in a Shi'ite Muslim area in the eastern part of the world's top oil exporter, following the arrest of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.
A key U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia has largely escaped the kind of protests that have toppled four heads of state since last year, but the mostly Shi'ite Qatif region of the Eastern Province has been the focal point of sporadic demonstrations alleging discrimination.
A statement from an Interior Ministry spokesman said the deaths followed a protest in the village of Awamiya over the arrest of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, but said there was no clash between protesters and police.
"Security authorities had been notified by a nearby medical center on the arrival of four individuals brought in by their relatives," Major General Mansour Turki, the spokesman, said in a comment sent to Reuters.
"Two of them were dead, the other two were slightly injured. Competent authorities initiated investigations in the incident."
Shi'ite activists and websites had also reported that at least two men had been killed in the protests. The Rasid website named the men as Akbar al-Shakhouri and Mohamed al-Felfel.
"In the aftermath of the arrest ... a limited number of people have assembled in the town of Awamiya," the Interior Ministry statement said. "Gun shots have been overheard in random areas of the town. However, there was no security confrontation whatsoever."
Nimr, seen as a leading cleric, was hurt in an accident as security forces chased his car, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday, adding that he was accused of "sedition".
Activists from the Eastern Province, where most of Saudi Arabia's Shi'ites live, posted pictures on the Internet of a grey-bearded man they identified as Nimr inside a vehicle.
He was covered with what appeared to be a blood-stained white blanket.
Shi'ites say they struggle to get government jobs or university places, that their neighbourhoods suffer under-investment, and that their places of worship are often closed down. The government denies charges of discrimination.
Abdel Belhadj says victim of CIA, British rendition and he was handed to Gaddafi as part of UK deal
Burkina Faso's government has abandoned plans for legislation to extend President Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule amid protests
"They were killed in different places by shelling and one was killed in an ambush," spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. Eleven others had been wounded in various incidents
Seven nuclear plants across the country were flown over by drones between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20, an EDF spokeswoman said, without any impact on the plants' safety or functioning.
The kidnappers attacked the staff and a contractor for the firm in southwest Nigeria's Ogun state on Friday as they were making their way to work in a quarry
Cuts of at least 10 percent were adopted at the weekend as part of a revision to this year's budget, while job losses and cuts in subsidies to state firms may follow in 2015.
Footage obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union captures eight officers shooting 46 times at a mentally-ill black man armed with a pocketknife
FM Wallstrom said despite the fact that Palestinian authorities did not have full control of their land and the country did not have fixed borders, Palestine fulfilled the criteria in international law for recognition
A panel of three military judges sentenced the four defendants to prison terms ranging from 25 to 45 years. The military prosecutor had sought the death penalty for one of them
A group of Palestinian Muslim worshippers gathered outside the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid beefed-up security, including an Israeli surveillance helicopter that hovered overhead
Khalid al-Nasser, a member of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, was denied entry to Egypt for "security reasons" and sent back to Turkey
Police source says 9-year-old freed after 3 months in captivity upon payment of ransom
The Houthis have remained in control of capital Sanaa since September 21, the group has sought to extend its control to other parts of the country.
Mira Markovic, who has lived in Russia for more than a decade since Milosevic's 2000 ouster, told the Vecernje Novosti newspaper the EU decision meant nothing.
About 10 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the Syrian town of Kobani through the border crossing with Turkey, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Topics expected to be discussed include on-going peace talks with ethnic rebel groups, national reconciliation and reforms.