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Saudi policeman killed, another injured in troubled Qatif region

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)
This file photo shows Saudi police officers in the capital Riyadh.

A Saudi policeman has been killed and another wounded following an attack on their patrol vehicle in the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province as the Riyadh regime continues its heavy-tactics crackdown there.

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.

On July 9, an off-duty Saudi officer was wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on his car as he was driving through an agricultural area in the Shia-populated Qatif region. The policeman reportedly suffered injuries from the splinters of his car's shattered windshield.

A soldier was killed and three others were wounded on July 6, when a patrol vehicle was hit by “an explosive projectile” in the al-Mosara quarter of Awamiyah town, located some 390 kilometers northeast of the capital Riyadh.

Awamiyah has witnessed an increase in anti-regime protests and an ensuing crackdown as Riyadh has insisted to destroy al-Mosara, claiming the neighborhood's narrow streets have become a hideout for militants believed to be behind attacks on security forces in the region.

Security forces equipped with heavy weapons have been deployed in Awamiyah since May 10, following fierce clashes between the regime forces and locals protesting against the destruction.

The undated photo, taken by a local resident and shared on Twitter, shows an armored vehicle and a bulldozer standing by to demolish buildings in the town of Awamiyah, eastern Saudi Arabia.

Bulldozers escorted by heavily-armored military vehicles have demolished several houses, business and historical sites across the Shia-majority region over the past few weeks.

More than a dozen people have lost their lives in the ongoing heavy-tactic crackdown by the Riyadh regime since then.

On May 24, UN experts criticized the ongoing attempts to demolish al-Mosara and accused the Saudi kingdom of erasing cultural heritage, violating human rights, and forcing residents to flee their homes.

Since February 2011, Saudi Arabia has stepped up security measures in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province, which has been rocked by anti-regime demonstrations, with protesters demanding free speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the Saudi regime. Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism law so as to repress pro-democracy movements.

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