Brother of executed cleric condemns attacks on Saudi missions

AFP , Monday 4 Jan 2016

Saudi Arabia
File Photo: Saudi Shia women hold placards bearing a portrait of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest in the eastern coastal city of Qatif against his execution by Saudi authorities, on January 2, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

The brother of Nimr al-Nimr, the Shia cleric executed in Saudi Arabia at the weekend, on Monday condemned retaliatory attacks on the kingdom's diplomatic missions in Iran, insisting: "We love our country".

"We appreciate your love towards the martyr #Sheikh_AlNimr who lives in our hearts but we refuse attacks on #Saudi ambassies in #Iran or others," Mohammed al-Nimr tweeted in English.

Angry demonstrators attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad following Saturday's execution of Nimr, a driving force behind anti-government protests in 2011.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia responded on Sunday by severing diplomatic ties with Shia-dominated Iran, its long-time regional rival.

Nimr, 56, was executed along with 46 other men, mostly Sunnis linked to Al-Qaeda.

His body was not given for his family for burial, according to another post on Twitter by his brother, who said authorities informed the family that the cleric had already been buried.

Nimr's brother issued a statement calling for the corpse of Nimr to be handed over to his family.

He expressed the family's hopes that "officials would answer our legitimate wish quickly by giving us the body of the martyred sheikh so that he would be buried in his hometown Awamiya."

Assailants killed a civilian and wounded a child on Monday when they opened fire on Saudi police in Awamiya, Nimr's birthplace in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province, state media reported.

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