Saudi ‘security operation’ kills two in Qatif province

shia in saudi arabia, qatif
A view of the damaged house where the men were hiding in Qatif
JK Bank

Two people were killed and others arrested in a “preemptive” security operation in Shia dominated   Saudi Arabia’s eastern Qatif province, Reuters reported.

Violence in the area has become more rare since security forces largely flushed out Shi’ite Muslim gunmen in a 2017 campaign that left much of the town’s old quarter flattened.

Qatif, in an oil-producing province and home to a large Shi’ite population, is a flashpoint between the Sunni-dominated government and minority Shi’ites complaining of discrimination and marginalisation. 

The people killed on Monday had refused to surrender and then opened fire on security forces, Al-Arabiya reported, citing unnamed security sources.

They had been wanted over alleged disruptions to security and development projects in the area, it added.

Shi’ite protests and deadly militant attacks on security forces have escalated since Nimr al-Nimr, a Shi’ite cleric critical of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, was executed two years ago on charges of inciting violence.