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Policemen shot dead in Saudi city of Dammam

Government spokesman says the two policemen were killed after facing heavy gunfire while patrolling the city
Four Saudi policeman were killed in January across the country (AFP)

Unidentified gunmen killed two Saudi policemen in the city of Dammam late on Saturday, the interior ministry said, describing it as a "terrorist attack".

Dammam, which is the capital city of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, is home to a largely Shia population.

The two officers killed were patrolling in a police car when they came under fire at around 11:30pm, a ministry spokesman told the official Saudi Press Agency.

They were both pronounced dead on arrival in hospital.

The spokesman did not specify who it held responsible for the shooting, but there have been previous attacks on police in mainly Shia areas of the oil-rich east of the kingdom this year.

In January, four policemen were killed in attacks across the country. 

The Shia minority in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia has long complained of discrimination and there has been sporadic unrest since the suppression of a Shia-led uprising in neighbouring Bahrain sparked a wave of protests in 2011.