Middle East

Saudi Arabia policemen shot dead in mainly-Shia Qatif

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Two policemen have been shot dead in eastern Saudi Arabia, the country's interior ministry says.

Gunmen opened fire on the officers' vehicle during a patrol in the Saihat area of Qatif overnight, a spokesman told the official Saudi Press Agency.

The predominantly Shia Muslim region has suffered unrest since early 2011, with protesters complaining of discrimination by the Sunni monarchy.

It has also been the scene of attacks by Islamic State militants this year.

In October, a gunman from a local affiliate of the Sunni jihadist group shot and killed five people at a Shia meeting hall in Saihat before being shot dead by police.

The interior ministry said an investigation into Wednesday's attack was under way.

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