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'Day of Rage' Planned for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Shi'ite protesters hold Saudi flags and portraits of unidentified prisoners during a demonstration in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, March 9, 2011

Activists are using the Internet to urge Saudis to take to the streets on Friday for an anti-government "Day of Rage" rally.

The call comes after a Saudi ban on protests that was announced earlier this month. The government enacted the ban after several small groups of demonstrators gathered to demand change in the conservative kingdom.

Large opposition rallies are very unusual in Saudi Arabia, but several thousand people have joined Internet groups calling for Friday's protest in the capital, Riyadh. Organizers say they will use the rally to call for major political and social change.

In February, Saudi King Abdullah announced a number of reforms, in an apparent effort to appease citizens in the wake of anti-government protests elsewhere in the Middle East.

The incentives included pay raises, increased spending on social programs and interest-free loans.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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