S.Arabia sentences 7 Islamist militants to death over killings of Shi'ites

RIYADH, Sept 2- A Saudi court has sentenced seven Islamic State militants to death over a 2014 shooting attack that killed eight Shi’ite Muslims near the eastern city of al-Ahsa, state television reported on Wednesday. Sunni militants have carried out many shootings and bombings in Saudi Arabia since 2014, soon after the then- Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr…

RIYADH, Sept 2 (Reuters) – A Saudi court has sentenced seven

Islamic State militants to death over a 2014 shooting attack

that killed eight Shi’ite Muslims near the eastern city of

al-Ahsa, state television reported on Wednesday.

In November 2014, three suspected members of the SunniMuslim jihadist group opened fire on Shi’ites who werecelebrating Ashura, a holy festival in their calendar, in thevillage of Dalwa, killing eight people there.

Seven defendants were sentenced to death after theirconviction while three others were handed 25-year jail termseach, the Ekhbariya channel said on Twitter.

Sunni militants have carried out many shootings and bombingsin Saudi Arabia since 2014, soon after the then-Islamic Stateleader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, summoned Saudi supporters to mountattacks at home instead of abroad in wars in Syria and Iraq.

Most of the attacks targeted minority Saudi Shi’ites orstate security officers, and were carried out by people who hadsworn allegiance to Islamic State or were claimed by themilitant group in online postings, Saudi authorities said.

Saudi Arabia had earlier barred its citizens from going towage jihad (holy war) abroad, used its Sunni clergy to denounceIslamic State, imposed prison terms for supporting the group andjoined U.S.-led air strikes against IS in Syria.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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