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Angry Protesters Set Fire to Saudi Embassy in Tehran after Shiite Cleric’s Execution

Iran-300x200TEHRAN: Angry protesters have set fire to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Tehran and the country’s consulate in Mashad after the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh al-Nimr.

Crowds of protesters first stormed and ransacked Saudi’s embassy and Consulate. Then they damaged property there after which they threw Molotov cocktail and set on fire both the diplomatic offices.

Photos and footage uploaded to social media show demonstrators smashing windows, ripping apart furniture and flags and torching parts of the building with Molotov cocktails.

Sobhan Hassanvand, an Iranian journalist writes on his twitter account that the protest was later quelled after police dispersed the crowd and made several arrests.

Saudi announced on Saturday executing 47 people on terrorism charges. Among them was Sheikh Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric.

The predominately Shiite Iran has strongly condemned the execution.

“The execution of a personality such as Sheikh Nimr who had no means other than speech to pursue his political and religious objectives only shows the depth of imprudence and irresponsibility,” said Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hossein Jaberi Ansari. “The Saudi government supports terrorists and Takfiri extremists, while talking to its critics at home with the language of execution and suppression.”

Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr was arrested, jailed and later sentenced to death on terrorism charges for his fiery speeches during anti-government protests in Qatif, a city that saw massive street protests followed by a crackdown by the Saudi authorities in the wake of the Arab Spring. -KP

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