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RIYADH: Saudi police have killed a wanted “terrorist” in the Shia-majority eastern district of Qatif, where there has been a string of attacks on security forces, newspapers said on Saturday.

Jaafar al-Mobireek was killed late on Friday in an operation in the city of Saihat, in Eastern Province, al-Jazirah newspaper reported, adding that he was a member of a “Qatif cell.”

The suspect was one of nine people wanted by the interior ministry and had been involved in targeting people and security forces and “vandalising public, security and economic installations,” the paper said.

The district has been rocked by unrest since 2011, when Shia protests erupted to demand equality in the Gulf kingdom.

Authorities have blamed the violence on “terrorists” and drug traffickers.

On Thursday, a border guard was shot dead and another wounded when their patrol came under fire on Al-Ramis coast in Qatif, Arab News daily reported citing an interior ministry statement.

Home to a significant number of the kingdom’s minority Shias — who have traditionally complained of marginalisation — Qatif has recently seen mounting attacks on police.

Saudi authorities on Tuesday executed four men convicted of “terrorist crimes”, including attacks on police and rioting in Qatif.

Three police officers have been killed and several wounded in Qatif since last month, while two suspects died when their car exploded, according to the authorities.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2017