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Clashes between police, foreign workers leave 2 dead in Saudi Arabia

By Schams Elwazer, CNN
updated 9:10 AM EST, Sun November 10, 2013
Hundreds of people were reportedly arrested in Riyadh after unrest. (Picture courtesy of Sabq.com)
Hundreds of people were reportedly arrested in Riyadh after unrest. (Picture courtesy of Sabq.com)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police arrested 561 people Saturday in the capital of Riyadh
  • Saudi Arabia launched a "security campaign" this month to crack down on visa violations

(CNN) -- Two people were killed and 68 others injured in clashes between police and foreign workers following a visa crackdown in Saudi Arabia, the official news agency reported.

Police arrested 561 people Saturday in the capital of Riyadh, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The arrests came after "unidentified" people barricaded themselves in narrow streets, where they threw stones at residents and vandalized shops and cars, according to a police statement posted on the news agency's website.

In the aftermath of Saturday's clashes, a police spokesman urged workers without proper documents to surrender at a shelter in the capital until they could be deported.

Most of the workers impacted by recent police raids are African migrants. Reports circulated last week of the death of an Ethiopian man, prompting the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry to issue a statement that it "condemned the killing of an Ethiopian and mistreatment of its citizens residing in Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Arabia launched a "security campaign" this month to crack down on workers violating visa rules.

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