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Pakistani, child killed in Saudi town gunfire

Saudi authorities blocked roads in a town Saturday, residents said a day after security officials said gunmen killed a two-year-old boy and a Pakistani man.

The gunfire targeted a construction site in a neighbourhood of Awamiya town slated for redevelopment, the interior ministry said late Friday.

Workers in Almosara district “came under fire and their vehicles were targeted by explosives” from within the neighbourhood, the ministry said in a statement.

It did not say when the incident took place but said criminals engaged in the drug and arms trade tried “to jeopardise the project and protect their terrorist activities that they launch from the abandoned houses in the neighbourhood”.

As police responded to the shooting, suspects “opened random and heavy gunfire at passersby and security men”, killing a two-year-old Saudi boy and a Pakistani resident.

The ministry said 14 people were wounded in the shooting, including two Pakistanis, an Indian, a Sudanese and four policemen.

A resident, however, gave a higher toll, saying that a local security guard who was hit by a random bullet later died of his injuries.

It was the second time since Wednesday that gunfire sounded in Awamiya, a town on the Gulf coast.

Residents said the shooting broke out as authorities moved on the Almosara district.

Early Saturday more gunfire sounded in the neighbourhood and authorities blocked roads in the area, a resident said.

“The situation’s miserable,” another resident said, asking for anonymity. “We think it will take a long time to finish this operation.”

In March the ministry said a teenage suspect died from wounds after Saudi police “responded” under fire while looking for suspects hiding among abandoned homes in Almosara.

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