Land grabbers attack eviction staff, officer hurt

Land Grabber in Abha

A woman official was injured on Saturday and a number of vehicles and equipment were damaged when land grabbers attacked officials clearing a piece of government land for public projects at the Sifr town, north east of Khamis Mushayt.

Police arrested the land grabbers who were resisting the municipality’s attempt to reclaim government land and had assaulted the eviction officials.

“The illegal land occupiers pelted the eviction officials and police with stones, wounding a female officer in the eye,” spokesman of the Asir governorate Saad Al-Thabit said. He added that a number of police and municipality cars and equipment were damaged in the attack.

The wounded officer, who is attached to the police detention facility in Khamis Mushayt, was sent to hospital for treatment.

The government officials and policemen came under attack while they were evicting the illegal occupiers of government properties in an area covering 72 million square meters allocated to the Ministries of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing. The eviction operations started last week, Al-Thabit said.

He added that the operation to reclaim the land was undertaken in line with royal decrees and ministerial decisions after a committee identified the land as being illegally occupied by land grabbers.

The committee has already demolished 21 illegal houses, five farms, 15 compounds and eight tanks in addition to a plot ready for sale, he said. A number of land grabbers, including women, who resisted and attacked the committee officials were arrested.

 
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