Saudi soldier killed in Shia-majority Qatif province

– A member of the Saudi security forces was killed by unknown assailants in the kingdom’s eastern Shia-majority Qatif province, the Saudi authorities announced Wednesday, reported Anadolu Agency.

According to a spokesman for the Saudi police in the Eastern Region (in which Qatif is located), several border guards in Qatif came under “heavy fire from a car carrying four masked gunmen” while on patrol late Thursday evening.

“The shooting resulted in the injury of a soldier, Abdulsalam Burgess Sayyah al-Anzi, who succumbed to his wounds before reaching the hospital,” the spokesman was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency as saying.

The attack also damaged a police building and a police patrol vehicle, according to the spokesman, whose name was not provided by the news agency.

Over the last two years, Qatif has witnessed a number of similar attacks targeting Saudi security personnel.

In June, a Saudi policeman was gunned down by an unidentified assailant in Qatif’s city of Seihat.

And in January, another two policemen in the same city were killed when their patrol came under fire by unknown attackers.

Saudi Arabia’s Qatif province has experienced unrest since the death of Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric whose execution by the Saudi authorities on Jan. 2 indirectly led to a rupture in Riyadh’s relations with Tehran.