Bomb attack on Saudi police kills one, wounds six: interior ministry

Bomb attack on Saudi police kills one, wounds six: interior ministry
A Saudi security corporal has been killed and six security men wounded in a militant attack on their patrol in a restive town in the country’s eastern province, authorities said.
2 min read
07 July, 2017
Authorities have blamed the unrest on "terrorists" and drug traffickers [AFP]

A bomb attack on a Saudi police patrol killed one officer and wounded six others in the Shia-majority eastern province of Qatif on Thursday, authorities said.

The patrol was targeted while checking the situation in the district of al-Awamiya, killing Corporal Abdullah Treiki al-Turki and wounding six other police officers, the interior ministry said, cited by the official SPA news agency.

The ministry blamed the attack on "terrorists", without giving any further details.

The attack occurred in the same area where a policeman was killed and three others wounded in a bombing on Tuesday morning.

Three people, including a police officer, were also killed last month in bombings in Qatif, where most of Saudi Arabia's Shia minority lives. 

The region has been rocked by unrest since 2011, when Shia protests erupted to demand equality in the Gulf kingdom.

Authorities have blamed the unrest on "terrorists" and drug traffickers.

In May, bulldozers began demolishing al-Awamiya's historic district, with plans to tear down several hundred homes, as officials allege it has become a hideout for local militants.

The destruction sparked shoot-outs in the streets between Saudi security forces and Shia gunmen and stoked sectarian tensions that resonate around the region.

The violence in al-Awamiya, which is centered in the Sunni kingdom's oil-rich east coast, adds a new source of instability at a time of increasing confrontation in the Gulf.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and its Shia-led rival Iran have spiked in recent weeks, with the kingdom and its allies severing ties with neighbouring Qatar, demanding among other things that it cut ties with Iran.

Agencies contributed to this report.