RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Demonstrators in a Shiite village in an eastern province in Saudi Arabia deliberately provoked security forces, the government said in a statement.
One Shiite protester was killed during clashes in Awwamiya last week. The government, in a statement faxed to Bloomberg News, said "a number of elements" were "deliberately" seeking to challenge police forces by using live ammunition.
The latest skirmish came a day after one Shiite protester was killed and three others injured in clashes with police forces in Qatif in the country's Eastern province.
The official Kuwait News Agency reported that more than two dozen people were rounded up after the clashes last week, noting Eastern province was the scene of "frequent riots and violence."
In December, Amnesty International published a report detailing a "new wave of repression" in the Saudi kingdom since the start of the Arab Spring in early 2011.
Bloomberg said at least seven Shiite demonstrators were killed in Saudi Arabia since November. A U.S. State Department statement from 2009 had warned the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia is faced with "significant" discrimination supported by the Sunni-led monarchy.