Witnesses said that hundreds of protesters, including women, took to the streets on Thursday. As the rally was about to finish, police opened fire on them, injuring at least three of them, all Shias. They were later taken to Qatif general hospital, witnesses said.

Thursday’s demonstration was the latest of a series of small protests over the past three weeks, in which several people were arrested.

To pacify the protesters, Saudi authorities last week released 25 Shia protesters detained in the past few weeks.

Despite a warning last Wednesday by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal threatening strong action against activists protesting in the streets, people are back in the streets of the oil-producing Eastern province of Qatif.

More than 32,000 people have backed a Facebook call to hold two demonstrations in the country on March 11 and March 20.
The Saudi regime has increased security in the city and has stepped up its crackdown on any dissent ahead of the planned opposition protests on Friday.

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