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8 'terrorist' suspects killed in Saudi Arabia: state media

AFP  |  Riyadh 

Eight members of a "terrorist" cell were killed on Saturday in a police raid in Saudi Arabia's eastern region, a Shiite minority stronghold, reported.

The recently-formed cell was preparing to carry out "terrorist" activities against the security of the country, the official reported citing a

He said the men were killed after they fired shots at security forces, who had surrounded a residential apartment in the Sanabis neighbourhood.

"They were called on to surrender, but they did not respond and opened fire at the security forces... which resulted in their killing," said the

No civilians or security forces were injured in the operation, he added.

Saudi Arabia's -- which includes -- has seen bouts of unrest since 2011 when protesters emboldened by the Arab Spring uprisings took to the streets.

The demonstrators have demanded an end to what they say is discrimination by the Sunni-dominated government, a charge denies.

One of the leaders of the protest movement, prominent Shiite Nimr al-Nimr, was executed in 2016 for "terrorism".

Nimr's execution exacerbated sectarian tension both across the Gulf and with Saudi Arabia's main regional rival,

The Shiite community is estimated to make up between 10 and 15 percent of the kingdom's population of 32 million, but the government has released no official statistics.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 09:05 IST