News   /   Saudi Arabia

Saudi police shoot man dead in Qatif

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi police secure a neighborhood in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where a firefight erupted with security forces, January 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says police have shot dead a man in a predominantly Shia area in Eastern Province.

A spokesman for the ministry said on Friday that the incident took place late on Thursday in Qatif, a hub of anti-regime protests in 2012.

The ministry said a firefight erupted when the man, who was charged with committing crimes related to "terrorism," refused to surrender.

The spokesman further said the suspect was killed in the exchange of fire. A police officer was wounded.

The shooting came days after a policeman was killed in Qatif by an unknown assailant.

The kingdom has witnessed a spate of deadly attacks targeting security forces or the Shia minority over the past months. The local branches of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have claimed responsibility for many of the assaults.

The Shia-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners as well as an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-producing region.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in 2012 in Qatif.

He was charged with instigating unrest and undermining Saudi Arabia's security. He had rejected the charges as baseless and unfounded but was convicted in sham trials and executed.

A protester holds up a picture of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr during a rally in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on July 8, 2012. (Photo by AP)

In 2014, when the Shia cleric received a death sentence, widespread global condemnations were directed at the Saudi regime. Amnesty International called the sentence "appalling," saying it was politically motivated.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku