Saudi policeman killed in raid, ISIS flags found

Members of the Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in Mecca. (File photo: Reuters)

A Saudi policeman was shot dead on Friday during a raid in which three people were arrested and flags of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group were found, the interior ministry said.

The killing came with the Gulf region on alert against attacks by ISIS, which has been blamed for killing other Saudi policemen and has claimed three deadly mosque bombings in the kingdom and Kuwait.

The ministry said security officers came under fire as they searched for a suspect at a home in Taif, a mountain city about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Jeddah at 4:30 am (0130 GMT).

A sergeant died “as a result of the exchange of fire,” said a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

“They arrested three suspects, confiscated Daesh flags, silencers and personal laptops,” the ministry added.

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for ISIS, Sunni extremists known for their brutality who have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, inspiring attacks elsewhere in the world.

The wanted man, identified as Yousif Abdulatif Shabab al-Ghamdi, remains at large.

An ISIS-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, claimed the suicide bombings in May and June at mosques of the minority Shiite community.

Shiites have intensified security around their houses of worship throughout the Gulf as a result. ISIS considers Shiites to be heretics.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48