Saudi executions driven by fear of Sunni militancy, signal combative policy

January 5, 2016 9:09 AM

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Saudi executions driven by fear of Sunni militancy, signal combative policy

(Protesters holding poster of Saudi Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr protest against his execution by Saudi authorities in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, Bahrain January 3, 2016. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

Saudi Arabia’s execution of four prominent Shi’ites and dozens of al Qaeda figures appears to have been based on a calculation that the kingdom could crush support for Sunni jihadists without alienating more moderate Sunnis.

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