A car bomb hits a market in Saudi Shia-majority city ‘Qatif’

An explosion has been reported in eastern Saudi Arabia, in a city beset with political unrest with the perpetrators still unknown.

A car bomb has exploded in the Shia-majority city of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, with images showing a vehicle in flames with debris.

Qatif has been beset by violence and attacks from extremists and militants from the Gulf coast city’s Shia majority.

One witness told AFP that the explosion was “very huge” and images showed a 4X4 vehicle in flames with some signs of damage.

It was not clear whether the blast caused casualties or who carried out the attack.

Police have sealed off the area and are investigating the scene.

The city’s Shia population have been targeted by militants pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group who view the Muslim sect as heretics.

A government campaign to tear down the Awamiya neighbourhood in the city has recently led to clashes with deaths.

A roadside bomb injured two policemen on Monday, with attacks on security forces becoming increasingly frequent.

The town has been the epicentre of massive unrest since Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric from the town, was executed by Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2016 for his involvement in anti-government protests.