Saudi Arabia says six suspects killed in security raid in Shia-majority province

Saudi Arabia says six suspects killed in security raid in Shia-majority province
2 min read
09 January, 2019
Saudi Arabia says that a raid earlier this week in the
Awamiya suffered huge damage in 2017 [Getty]

Six suspects have been killed and one arrested by Saudi security forces following a shoot-out with militants in a Shia-majority town in the east of the country, Riyadh said on Wednesday. 

Saudi Arabia's secret service said it conducted a "preemptive" raid on a house in Qatif on Monday, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Five officers were injured in the raid in the restive eastern Saudi province, which has a large Shia population.

They added that automatic machine guns, three grenades, a pistol, 593 machine guns and 30 pistol rounds were recovered during the raid with an image of weapons shared by state security.

Saudi Arabia claims that security forces surrounded a suspects' hideout and demanded they surrender, but the militants opened fire on officers.

They were reportedly planning to attack infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia's Shia-majority Eastern Province.

Bombings and shootings have occasionally take place in the kingdom by Shia and al-Qaeda-linked militants. Riyadh claim the Shia militants are linked to Iran.

Saudi security forces launched a major operation against militants on the eastern town of Awamiya in 2017, levelling large parts of the ancient town and destroying or damaging other neighbourhoods due to shell and gun fire.

Riyadh claims the demolition of the town was down for "development" projects.

Around 10 to 15 percent on Saudi Arabia's population are Shia, and have held complained of government discrimination and suppression.

Agencies contributed to this story.