Fresh violence erupted in Riyadh’s Manfouha district on Wednesday, resulting in the death of a Sudanese resident, police said.
At least 17 expatriate workers were also reported injured as they clashed with local residents.
Illegal migrants “rioted, hurling rocks at passersby and cars,” police said, before forces intervened and “controlled” the situation.
The protesters, mainly Africans, started harassing motorists and members of the public at Frayan Street in the southern part of Manfouha.
Police said they were still investigating what provoked the fresh violence, the second in district in five days. Last Saturday, security forces battled Ethiopian illegal workers who had gone on a rampage apparently in anger over an ongoing government crackdown against visa violators.
A Saudi man and two others were killed during the violence and many other people were injured.
Nearly 23,000 Ethiopians residing in the Manfouha district have since submitted themselves to the authorities to be repatriated to their homeland. Some of them claimed to have valid visas and work permits but have opted to repatriated.
They are being kept in a camp in Shifa district along Makkah Highway where the authorities are providing them with food and accommodation.
A medical practitioner living in the city center said he witnessed the rampage on Wednesday. “The protesters were attacking vehicles and harassing the public,” he said, adding that the police cordoned off the area and restored peace.
Videos taken by some residents and posted on YouTube also showed some protesters stopping or stoning passing vehicles.
At the deportation center, authorities have been issuing exit visas to the undocumented workers after approval from their foreign missions.
According to sources at the center, the foreign missions have been allotted specific days to submit the passports of their nationals for processing. On a visit to the center on Wednesday, Arab News witnessed busloads of illegals being offloaded at the detention camp. They included nationals from Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt and Sri Lanka.
An Asian diplomat told Arab News that those caught at workplaces and on the streets will be deported at the government’s expense with the prior approval of their missions.
He said the mission has to give the exit with an emergency passport to enable the passenger to clear himself at both embarkation and disembarkation points. Even the air ticket is provided by the state.
An official from the Sri Lankan Embassy here said the authorities at the deportation center have been very supportive in the repatriation of foreign workers. “More than 40 women were given final exit visas on Tuesday,” he said.