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Police and foreign workers clash in Saudi capital

February 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm


Saudi Arabia’s official news agency has reported clashes between police and expatriate workers in the capital city of Riyadh, leaving dozens injured. According to neighbourhood witnesses, the anti-riot police units accompanied by Riyadh’s deputy governor, Prince Turki Bin Abdullah, surrounded the poor neighbourhood of Manfuhah in southern Riyadh on Saturday, where workers had barricaded themselves and used knives and stones to threaten police.

The clashes follow a campaign by the Ministry of Interior Security demanding that foreign workers in Saudi Arabia rectify their visa status after the state’s amnesty deadline for foreign workers to amend their legal status and obtain appropriate work permits had ended.

According to a source, who preferred to remain anonymous, “the clashes left 65 injured. The Al-Iman Hospital received 41 cases and King Saud Medical City Hosiptal received 20 cases. Both hospitals have announced a state of emergency due to the high level of casualties. Prince Salman Hospital also treated four patients. The injuries have varied from moderate to serious, mainly due to stab wounds. King Saud Medical City Hospital hosted most of the casualties including six Saudis and two children. Saudi victims were referred to Al-Iman Hospital while Prince Salman Hospital received three Ethiopians and an Egyptian worker.”