Saudi arrests 'most wanted' fugitive in Qatif region



A picture taken on October 1st, 2017, during a tour guided by Saudi authorities shows a military vehicle in the town of Awamiya in the eastern Qatif region, after nearly two months of a security campaign against gunmen in the town. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday (January 7th) arrested a man who allegedly shot at security officers in Qatif, state television said, amid heightened regional tensions following an Iranian general's killing.

The kingdom's Eastern Province -- which includes Qatif –- has long seen security campaigns against terror elements active in the area.

State-run Al-Ekhbariya television identified the arrested man, Hussein al-Ammar, as the "most dangerous wanted terrorist" in the region.

He is accused of targeting security forces and robbery, it added.

Security forces arrested him following a shootout after they had surrounded his hideout in the al-Bukhari neighbourhood, Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported.

Reports said he was accompanied by a number of people during the raid. One was critically injured during the operation.

A local resident in Qatif reported "heavy gunfire" during a security operation to arrest Ammar.

The arrest comes amid soaring regional tensions after last week's killing in Baghdad of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

American officials say the kingdom faces a "heightened risk" of reprisal attacks after Iran vowed to take revenge over the killing.

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