Saudi police kill 4 gunmen in eastern province

Riyadh, Dec 20: Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says government forces have shot and killed four gunmen in a restive eastern town that is heavily populated by minority Shiites.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said in a statement that among those killed is a man who had shot and killed a Saudi officer nearly a week earlier. Al-Turki described the four men killed as "terrorists" and says a policeman was moderately wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

The town of al-Awamiya, where today's shooting took place, is also the hometown of revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken government critic who was sentenced to death in October for inciting violence and sectarian strife charges he denies. His death sentencing outraged his Shiite supporters who complain of discrimination from the Sunni leadership.


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