Two Dead After Attackers Target Saudi Arabia Checkpoint in Attempt to Flee Country

Three of the four attackers, who reportedly tried to flee the country's eastern region, were on a list of wanted suspects

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FILE Photo: The eastern city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, January 26, 2019.
FILE Photo: The eastern city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, January 26, 2019.Credit: \ FAISAL AL NASSER/ REUTERS

Four attackers targeted a security checkpoint with guns and explosives in eastern Saudi Arabia as they tried to flee the country, leading to the death of two and the arrest of two others, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday. 

The broadcaster, citing its correspondent, said the incident occurred at Abu Hadriyah, a highway connecting the kingdom's Eastern Province with neighbouring Bahrain and Kuwait. It reported two injuries among the security forces. 

The oil-producing province is a flashpoint between the Sunni Muslim government and the Shi'ite minority, which complains of discrimination and repression. 

Starting in 2011, the region was shaken by frequent, though mostly peaceful, protests. Shi'ite militants repeatedly launched deadly attacks on Saudi security forces, but violence has been more rare since security forces largely flushed out gunmen in 2017. 

Al Arabiya said three of the attackers were on a list of wanted suspects from al-Qatif region, without providing more details. It said the operation took place away from built up areas.