Residents soon to return home to Saudi village as terrorists are expelled and rehab begins

A Saudi official gives a media briefing on the plan to redevelop Al-Musawara in Al-Awamiyah village, Qatif. (AN photo)
Updated 14 August 2017
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Residents soon to return home to Saudi village as terrorists are expelled and rehab begins

AL-AWAMIYAH: Residents will soon be able to return to their homes almost three months after an escalation in security operations to clear terrorists and criminals from Al-Musawara, a village in Al-Awamiyah in Qatif.
With Saudi Special Security Forces (SSSF) in control of the area since Friday, construction crews have been able to begin repairing homes and businesses damaged in the clashes that forced 428 families to flee.
In May, development work on a shopping and recreation project in the village had to be halted after construction workers came under heavy arms fire from militants. A bulldozer driver and a two-year-old child were killed.
As SSSF officers moved to restore order they were met with heavy arms fire, including rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices, from abandoned buildings. Residents were forced to flee as the attacks grew more aggressive and deadly.
“Citizens were calling asking for help to escape,” said Fahd, an officer in Al-Musawara. “We rescued many families. Some of them told us that any time they stepped out of a building they would be shot at. The terrorists were not allowing them to leave.”
In a single day, a police officer was killed and six others wounded when their patrol came under fire.
Between July 22 and July 30, at least five people were killed as security forces began to flush out the remaining terrorists and criminals.
“When the next stage of the development began in May of this year, the demolition stage, the village had to be completely unoccupied. As demolition works began, construction workers were being shot at,” said Essam Abdulatif Al-Mulla, acting mayor of Qatif. “Terrorists and criminals escalated their assault and at that the police began a mandatory evacuation.”
In several years of clashes in Qatif, 28 police officers have been killed and 195 wounded, the Interior Ministry says. In addition, 21 Saudi citizens and seven expatriates have been killed, and 109 Saudis and 26 expatriates injured.
Last Wednesday, after an intense campaign by security forces, Al-Musawara was declared 90 percent safe and by Friday it was declared completely free of terrorist and criminal elements.
The area is now empty and demolition of the most damaged areas, which became a hideout for terrorists, wanted individuals and criminals, can begin.
Reconstruction of buildings in the surrounding district and the restoration of utilities are thought to be a few weeks away.


UN backs Saudi calls on justice, crime prevention

The Kingdom also called on member states to review national legislation to exchange experiences and techniques to effectively combat cybercrime. (Reuters)
Updated 6 min 40 sec ago
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UN backs Saudi calls on justice, crime prevention

  • KSA called on member states to review national legislation to exchange experiences and techniques to effectively combat cybercrime
  • Summit resolutions target terror, cybercrime, online child abuse

GENEVA: A UN commission on crime prevention has unanimously ratified resolutions by Saudi Arabia targeting terrorism, child exploitation and cybercrime.
The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice ratification came during its 28th session at the UN headquarters in Vienna.
The most important of the Kingdom’s four resolutions seeks to combat child sexual exploitation through the internet, provide technical assistance for the implementation of international conventions to fight terrorism, and strengthen technical assistance and international cooperation to combat cybercrime.
Through these resolutions, the Kingdom highlighted the need for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to help provide access to justice for victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse through the Internet according to national legislation.
Saudi Arabia called on member states to exchange experiences on raising awareness and reporting cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation and urged them to learn from the experiences of other states in fighting extremism, recruitment and incitement of individuals to carry out terrorist acts.
The Kingdom also called on member states to review national legislation to exchange experiences and techniques to effectively combat cybercrime.
Saudi Arabia emphasized the main topics to be discussed during the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Kyoto, Japan, and the need to focus on strengthening confidence in the rule of law, international coordination and cooperation in criminal matters, and deepening public-private sector partnerships in crime prevention efforts.
Addressing the commission’s 28th session, Abdullah bin Fakhri Al-Ansari, an adviser to the Saudi Interior Ministry, said that terrorism poses a major threat to international peace and security, and undermines the fundamental values ​​of the UN.
Al-Ansari, who is also the ministry’s director general of legal affairs and international cooperation, called for coordination and cooperation between states and organizations at regional and international levels to fight terrorism, exchange best practices, and assist in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.
Leading the Saudi delegation at the conference, he called for the provision of technical assistance in capacity-building, prevention, awareness-raising, international cooperation, data collection, research, and analysis to combat cybercrime.
Al-Ansari stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation around the world to track down perpetrators by criminalizing the possession, distribution, and production of child sexual abuse materials.
He highlighted the importance of capacity-building, the provision of services and support to victims of child abuse through the Internet, providing training and strengthening the technical capacity of law enforcement agencies, providing technical support for the development of effective policies and programs, and implementing awareness-raising and education campaigns to protect children from abuse.