Alleged gunman killed in clash with Saudi police

Photo: Alleged gunman killed in clash with Saudi police  / Arab World

Saudi authorities said Friday that an insurgent had been killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in Qatif, a restive Shiite-majority province in the east of the kingdom, dpa reported.

A Saudi security official said that the man was among "other rioters" who fired on a police patrol in the region late Thursday.

The alleged attacker was injured in the clash and died on arrival at a local hospital, according to the official.

The official did not identify the man whom websites said was an 18-year-old local protester.

His death raises to 12 the number of people killed since last year when Shiites started protests in Qatif demanding political reforms from Saudi Arabia's Sunni rulers, according to activists.

Saudi authorities said in September that a policeman had been killed by unidentified gunmen in Qatif, which is an oil-rich region.

The Shiites accuse Saudi authorities of discrimination.

Saudi Arabia denies this. It refers to the protesters as "rioters" allegedly financed by foreign countries to cause unrest in the world's top oil exporter.

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