x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 December 2017

Member of Saudi security forces killed in Qatif attack: interior ministry

Tuesday's incident was the latest in a series of attacks on security forces in the Qatif governorate, located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

ABU DHABI // A member of the Saudi security forces was killed and three others injured when they were hit by an explosive device while on patrol in the eastern Qatif governorate, the ministry of interior has said, describing it as a "terrorist" act.

Tuesday's incident was the latest in a series of attacks on security forces in Qatif, located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province.

The interior ministry's security spokesman said an investigation had been launched into the attack in the Al Musawara area, which killed Vice Sergeant Adel Faleh Al Otaibi.

The UAE and other GCC countries — including Bahrain and Kuwait — condemned the assault, reiterating their support for Saudi Arabia and its efforts to maintain security and stability.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also said it stood behind the kingdom and its work to combat terrorism.

Authorities have been bulldozing Al Musawara, a historic neighbourhood with narrow streets dating back more than 200 years, to make way for an urban renewal project. Local officials say wanted militants believed to be behind attacks on security forces have been using the narrow streets to escape arrest.

Last month, a Saudi soldier was killed and two members of the security forces wounded when an explosive device went off during a patrol in the area.

Discontent among Qatif's Shiite community and general crime are behind a wave of violence in the area, along with ISIL-claimed attacks.

* With additional reporting by Reuters