At least three people including a police officer were injured on Thursday in the Shiite region of Qatif as unrest in Saudi Arabia escalated. Security personnel opened fire on protestors who had taken to the streets in demand for the release of political prisoners. Riyadh has increased its measures to bolster security in the country to prevent an Arab uprising in Saudi Arabia. Demonstrations and expressions of dissent are banned by the government, which claims they contradict Islamic laws. The Shiite community which forms nearly 10 percent of the population in the Kingdom is often at loggerheads with the authorities claiming they are marginalized in government jobs and positions.
Saudi unrest has also affected world markets. Oil prices which had dropped to below $101 a barrel rebounded on Thursday after the events to nearly $104.