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Illegal migrants in Riyadh go on rampage, two killed
Monday November 11, 2013 8:17 PM, IINA

Hundreds of illegal migrants, who were involved in clashes Saturday night, turned themselves in on Sunday after security forces cordoned off a Riyadh neighborhood where two people were killed.

An investigation has been launched into the violence in Manfuhah after illegals attacked Saudis and other expats with rocks and knives. One Saudi and another person were killed, said a police statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Another 68 people – 28 Saudis and 40 foreigners – were injured and 561 were arrested.

Riyadh Deputy Emir Prince Turki Bin Abdullah oversaw the security operation against the rioters, most of whom were Ethiopian nationals. Riyadh police chief Maj. Gen. Saud Al-Hilal and top officials of various security agencies supervised the operation.

Men, women and children lined up carrying their belongings to board police buses transferring them to an assembly center before their deportation.

The trouble started when hundreds of Ethiopians gathered on the main street of Manfuhah after Asr prayers, demanding a halt to the security crackdown on illegals. Before the arrival of the police at the scene, they started vandalizing vehicles and damaging shops, traffic signals and sign boards. They also attacked some passersby.

The injured included a woman pedestrian and her daughter. There was random stoning at both citizens and expatriates and a number of them sustained minor injuries. When the security forces reached the scene, some of the rioters fled but a major group stood firm and clashed with the forces, using sticks and knives, and resumed stoning.

The security forces sealed various exit and entry points to the district and launched a massive combing operation. Rioters then escaped to the neighboring districts of Al-Ateeqa and Al-Yamama.

The traffic movement came to a standstill during the rioting and the ensuing security operation. Saudi Red Crescent Authority moved the injured people to nearby hospitals, and Iman Hospital received about 30 injured people. Riyadh police spokesman Brig.

Gen. Nasser Al-Qahtani said the security authorities gave the rioters an opportunity to surrender voluntarily and a detention center was readied for them near the intersection of King Abdulaziz Road and the south ring road. The arrested rioters were shifted to the center and the legal procedures against them will soon be completed prior to their deportation, he said.

On Sunday, the Manfuhah district, which is home to many illegal migrants, remained tense but quiet. A heavy police presence was seen in and around the area. A school in the area has been closed as a precautionary measure.

Last Monday, the authorities began rounding up thousands of illegal foreign workers following the expiry of a final amnesty for them to correct their status. Those considered to be illegal range from overstaying visitors and pilgrims seeking jobs to shop assistants and day laborers working for someone other than their sponsor.

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