Riyadh: A Saudi security official says violent clashes broke out between residents of the holy city of Medina on the day minority Shi’ite Muslims commemorated the death of their most sacred saint.
The official refused to elaborate on the cause of Thursday`s clashes but said security forces were deployed to disperse the crowds. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
A Shi’ite news website called Rasid reported that hundreds of Sunni hard-liners attacked Shi’ites during the commemorations, known as Ashura. The day of mourning marks the killing of the Prophet Muhammad`s grandson Hussein in the year 680 in present day Iraq.
Shi’ites make up 10 percent of predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and complain of discrimination.