Early on Sunday, Saudi authorities arrested three men who filmed themselves attacking an autistic man in the kingdom's Ihsa'a governorate, Al Arabiya reported.  

The footage sparked outrage after it went viral on social media over the weekend, with thousands calling on police to arrest the attackers. 

In his statement on the matter, spokesman for Saudi's Eastern province police department said

"After officers were notified of the now-viral video, they identified both the victim and the attackers. The victim hadn't reported the attack to police earlier." 

"The 3 attackers, who are all in their thirties, have been arrested and the case will now be transferred to the governorate's prosecution office," he added

Late on Sunday, the victim, now identified as Ali, and his uncle, shared details of the horrific attack on live television

Ali's uncle explained that the former is an orphan, who is cared for by close relatives. He also said that the attackers are known to the family and live in the same neighborhood.

"The attack took place on Saturday, the 11th of November as Ali was ending his shift at the vegetable market where he works. He told no one about the assault and we only learned of it when we saw the footage," he added. 

The video angered thousands on social media

Footage of the attack made the rounds online over the weekend, with thousands reacting to it with anger. 

*The video is available online but we choose not to share it in line with ethical standards.

Many are upset

"God knows I don't know this man, but my heart breaks for him." 

"Can't imagine the fear he must have felt"

"Mercy and humanity are dead"

"What happened is terrifying. Mercy and humanity are dead!! People forget that our religion asked us to care for those who are weak or ill before anything else. Those who attacked him are sick and must be treated. Strict punishment must also be imposed on them." 

People are relieved that the attackers were arrested

"Thank God the attackers have now been arrested, but what's shocking is that they're in their 30s and 40s."

Many called on authorities to impose strict punishments

"We want police and prosecution in Isha'a to issue a public statement on the punishment the attackers receive. This could prevent people from committing similar acts in the future."