Saudi security forces kill 8 people in Al Qatif

Elias Hubbard
May 15, 2019

Saudi security forces killed eight members of a terrorist cell on Saturday in the eastern region of Qatif, state news agency Spa reported.

The newly formed terrorist cell had plans to carry out terrorist operations targeting vital installations and security sites, according to a statement of the spokesman of the Presidency carried by Saudi Press Agency.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, said security forces stormed into Sanabes village of Tarout Island on Saturday afternoon, triggering an exchange of gunfire with local residents.

The Interior Ministry said security forces only opened fire after they were shot at.

The operation led to the deaths of all eight terrorists, while no building occupants, pedestrians or members of the security forces were harmed. The Saudi authorities had accused them of committing acts of terrorism in the eastern region.

According to local media, Saudi security forces besieged the town of Umm al-Hamam in Qatif for more than 15 hours, during which they raided several houses in search of wanted suspects.

The oil-producing Eastern Province is a regular flashpoint between the Sunni-dominated government and minority Shias who complain of discrimination and marginalization, Reuters said.

The province has seen bouts of unrest since 2011, when protesters emboldened by the Arab Spring uprisings took to the streets.

In 2016, Riyadh executed a Shiite religious figure Nimr al-Nimr.

Nimr's execution exacerbated sectarian tension both across the Gulf and with Saudi Arabia's main regional rival, predominantly Shia Iran.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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