RIYADH - Saudi Shi'ites protested peacefully in the east of the kingdom on Friday in support of Shi'ites in Bahrain, as King Abdullah offered $93 billion in handouts and boosted his security and religious police forces.

Hundreds of Shi'ites attended five protests in and around the eastern region's main Shi'ite centre, Qatif, activists said.

"The protests were peaceful. There was no fighting between the police and demonstrators," said an activist who declined to be named.

Protesters shouted "One people not two people -- the people of Qatif and Bahrain!" he said, adding that demonstrators also called for the release of Shi'ite prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger