|Saudi police kill two in east||
A Saudi security official said on Thursday that two people were killed during a raid to arrest a protester in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.
The clash in the Qatif area came as Saudi authorities try to root out suspected leaders of the protesters.
The official Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday that the wanted man and a fellow gunman were killed during a gun battle. The report, citing an unnamed security official, said agents had traced them to a house on Wednesday.
There have been demonstrations in the Eastern Province on an almost daily basis over the past few months, with protesters calling for political reform.
Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protesters in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured.
Meanwhile, a large number of people in Saudi Arabia have staged a demonstration in the central province of al-Qassim to protest against the illegal detention of their relatives in the kingdom.
The demonstrators gathered at a prison on Thursday, but police restricted them to a cordoned off area for six hours, protesters and a human rights activist said.
On Monday, Saudi security forces detained dozens of people who had staged a demonstration near the same prison, demanding the release of their relatives.
Saudi Arabia has been under fire for its human rights record especially for the detention of many anti-government protesters since the onset of a popular uprising in the country last year.
Riyadh has banned all kind of demonstrations in the kingdom.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. Most of them are held without charge. Human rights groups have accused the House of Saud of imprisoning political dissidents.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”
On August 13, Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enstrom criticized Saudi Arabia for its human rights violations, describing the kingdom as "an authoritarian regime and an absolute monarchy, where serious human rights crimes are committed."
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|Last Updated on 28 September 2012 18:35|