Riyadh blames foreign elements for Awwamiya attack

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Saudi Interior Ministry said it would respond with "an iron fist" against any "mercenary" upsetting the peace in the country.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that 11 members of the country's security force were injured in an attack on Awwamiya, a predominately Shiite town in the east of the country.


Saudi officials blamed foreign interference for the attack, in which assailants on motorcycles used machine guns and Molotov cocktails.

"They started their disturbing acts against the public peace at the behest of a foreign country seeking to undermine the security and stability of the homeland in blatant interference in national sovereignty," the Saudi official news agency stated.

Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Texas, suggested the statement regarding foreign interference could be a reference to Iran. Saudi Arabia and Iran countries are at odds over the Houthi rebellion in the Shiite north of Yemen and the response by the Sunni leadership in Bahrain to a Shiite uprising early this year.

The Saudi report goes on to say the attack was carried out by "weak-minded people" who were likely influenced by outsiders.

"The Ministry of Interior will deal with any mercenary or misled person by force and will strike with an iron fist whoever wishes to do so," the Saudi press agency noted.


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