Facebook revolt descends upon Saudi Arabia

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
Riyadh, Mar 11: The Arab World is abuzz with the waves of protest that have engulfed the entire region and threaten to topple monarchs and decades-old regime. Governments in Egypt and Tunisia have already bitten the bullet while Muammar Gaddafi it seems is simply delaying the inevitable.

Bahrain and Yemen too are burning and it seems the same fate has dawned upon Saudi Arabia. In protests inspired by the successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Shiites took to the streets of Qatif, a town in the Eastern Province of the oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Police fired in the air to disperse the nearly 200-odd protesters who had gathered on the eve of the day of protests called for Mar 11. The protests, as was the case in Egypt and Tunisia, was organised by activists using the Internet.

Two civilians and a police official are reported to be injured in the protests.

Saudi Interior Ministry has clarified that police fired in the air after the crowd attacked a police officer who was on duty. A spokesperson of the ministry has also informed that the crowd too had ammunition and said, "A number of people from within the crowd fired live ammunition. I don't know where they fired and how they fired."

The clampdown by Saudi officials indicate the seriousness with which the government is looking upon the revolts, which have gripped almost the entire Middle-East. The protests in all the affected countries have one thing in common, i.e Facebook, the social networking site. And the same has happened in Saudi Arabia as well, where a Facebook page calling for the protests has got more than 30,000 followers.

Saudi Arabia is ruled by King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. Despite its stringent laws, Saudi is economically a much-better nation than all the other countries affected by the revolts, except for Bahrain.

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