(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A Saudi policeman has been killed and another injured following an attack on their patrol vehicle in Qatif amid rising tensions in the Shiite Muslim region.
Saudi Interior Ministry security spokesman Major General Mansour Turki said in a statement published on the official Saudi Press Agency on Friday that the patrol came under fire near al-Rames coast in the al-Nasser district of Qatif at around 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) the previous day.
The statement added that Lance corporal Mohammed Hussein Hazazi lost his life in the shooting, and Lance corporal Khalid Ma’aber Hakmi sustained gunshot wounds who was transferred to hospital to receive medical treatment.
Security officials have launched an investigation into the incident.
Qatif is in the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shiite-populated Eastern Province where the regime in Riyadh continues its brutal crackdown on the region’s population.
Last week, a Saudi army commando has been killed and three others injured in the same troubled region.
On June 11, a senior Saudi policeman was killed and two members of the security forces were injured when an explosive device blew up beside their patrol vehicle in the same area, located some 390 kilometers northeast of the capital Riyadh.
Qatif, especially the al-Masora neighborhood, has witnessed many such attacks in recent months. Last month, a police officer was killed and other two were injured in a similar bomb blast when a police patrol was attacked in the neighborhood.
Saudi forces started their brutal attack on Awamiyah town on May 10, using helicopter gunships and heavy weapons. The Saudi regime says the aim of the raid is to allow ‘renovation’ of the historic al-Mosara neighborhood to make way for a planned a new project.
The "renovation" of the historic 400-year old Mosara neighborhood has been highly controversial. In April, the United Nations called on the Saudi regime to halt the project, warning that it threatened "the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm".
Awamiyah, a town of 30,000 in the Shiite Muslim-majority Qatif district in the Eastern Saudi province, was the home of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a high ranking Shiite scholar who was unjustly hanged in January last year for demanding the legitimate rights of the region’s residents.