TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A Saudi special forces officer was killed in the kingdom’s eastern city of al-Awamiya, Qatif region, where the Riyadh regime has launched a heavy-handed crackdown against the Shiite Muslim population.

Saudi media, in their reports on Saturday, named the officer as Ahmed Hassan al-Zahrani and claimed he was killed “by extremists”, without providing details, Reuters reported. 

Awamiyah has witnessed an increase in anti-regime protests and an ensuing crackdown as Riyadh has been insisting on destroying al-Mosara district, claiming the neighborhood's narrow streets have become a hideout for militants believed to be behind attacks on security forces in the region.

Saudi authorities intend to turn al-Mosara into a commercial zone, despite warnings both by locals and the United Nations that the controversial plan would ruin the 400-year-old neighborhood's historical and cultural heritage and could eventually lead to the forced eviction of hundreds of people from their businesses and residence.

Scores of people have lost their lives in the ongoing heavy-tactic crackdown by the Riyadh regime.

In 2017, UN experts criticized the ongoing attempts to demolish al-Mosara and accused the Saudi kingdom of erasing cultural heritage, violating human rights, and forcing residents to flee their homes.