A soldier was reported killed by gunmen in the Saudi town of Awamiyah where a "siege" by security forces entered its seventh day, according to the interior ministry. Five members of the security services were also injured.
Several people have been reportedly killed in the town after Saudi security services launched a raid in the Eastern Province town early on Wednesday, claiming the historic Almosara neighbourhood was being used as a hideout for Shia militant groups.
Gunmen have repeatedly opened fired on police and roadblocks have been placed at entrances to the town, restricting access.
The Eastern Province has a large Shia population who have frequently been accused of being linked to Iran and carrying out anti-state activity. Awamiyah, in particular, has been a flashpoint - in March, a teenager was killed by Saudi police after they "responded as necessary" to gunfire from militant groups.
Another aim of the raid, however, appears to be to enable the demolition of Almosara to make way for a planned renovation project. Activists have posted pictures and videos of bulldozers being accompanied by heavily armoured military vehicles towards the site.
One Awamiyah local, speaking to MEE on condition of anonymity, said that residents were working together under a state of "siege" to try and keep local amenities running.
"But regarding electricity still there is lots of houses outside Almosara without electricity, living on generators," they said. "As a result of the destruction of public and private property that was imposed by Saudi forces, many generators were damaged."
Video sent to MEE appeared to show concrete blocks placed on roads leading out of the town, though this footage cannot be independently verified: