Saudi forces kill gunman after Shiite site attack

Family members of victims and well-wishers are seen after a suicide bomb attack at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh in the eastern province of Gatif, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2015. (Reuters)

Five people were killed after a gunman opened fire on a Shiite Muslim meeting hall on Friday in the Eastern city of Saihat, Al Arabiya News Channel correspondent reported.

Shortly after the attack, in which six people were also wounded, Saudi security forces said they killed the attacker and arrested two suspects linked with the incident.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-owned television channel Al Ekhbariya TV had quoted sources as saying that the “person who opened fire on a husseiniya was killed, and the attacker was in his twenties.”

The channel said the motive remained unclear.

A resident reached by telephone told Reuters that an attacker approached the meeting hall in a taxi but was stopped at a checkpoint. Police arrived and a gun battle broke out, which the resident said injured several people and left the attacker dead.

This is not the first time a Shiite site was targeted in the kingdom this year.

In August, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia.

In May, a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at a mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing at least 21 and wounding 81 others.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Since the attacks, volunteer security guards have sprung up around holy sites in the largely Shiite Eastern province of the kingdom, whose rulers follow a strict version of Sunni Islam.

The militant group has also targeted Shiite mosques and places in other regional countries such as Kuwait and Iraq.

You can also read: Timeline: Al-Qaeda and ISIS attacks in Saudi Arabia

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Last Update: 21:39 KSA 00:39 - GMT 21:39
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