RIYADH: A homemade explosive device has killed a senior Saudi police officer in a town where deadly violence has flared in recent weeks, the interior ministry said on Monday.
Major Tariq al-Alaqi was killed and two policemen were wounded in the blast late Sunday in Awamiya, the ministry said in a statement.
They were patrolling the town’s old Almosara neighbourhood, where unrest has escalated in recent weeks around a redevelopment project.
Alaqi is at least the fourth person to have been killed in the violence.
The interior ministry has implicated criminals involved in the drug and arms trade in the violence in Awamiya.
Awamiya, in Eastern Province, has seen repeated security incidents in recent years.
Last month, gunfire killed two civilians and a rocket-propelled grenade left a policeman dead in the Almosara area.
Three United Nations rights experts have called on Saudi Arabia to halt demolitions in the 400-year-old Almosara district which, they said, caused “injury, deaths and material losses to the civilians”.