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Saudi Arabia checkpoint shootout leaves four dead

Two attackers are slain as third is wounded and in hospital
Member of Saudi special police (AFP/file photo)

A drive-by shooting against a checkpoint in central Saudi Arabia and an ensuing gunfight on Sunday left a security officer, a Bangladeshi civilian and two attackers dead, the kingdom's interior ministry said.

"A security checkpoint on the Buraydah-Tarfiyah road in Qassim region came under fire from three terrorists riding in a vehicle on Sunday afternoon," the ministry said in a statement. 

"Two of the terrorists were killed and a third was wounded and transferred to hospital," it added. 

Qassim, a heartland of the kingdom's ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, is one of the most conservative pockets of the country. Analysts say many young men from the region have joined al-Qaeda in Yemen or militant groups in Iraq.

Sergeant Suleiman Abdelaziz Abdel Latif was identified as the Saudi fatality. The ministry said a Bangladeshi resident was also killed, but did not give his name.

Call for coup in Saudi: Dissident prince urges uncles to seize power

A member of #SaudiArabia's security forces and a #Bangladeshi resident were killed in an attack on a security checkpoint in #Buraidah, a city in Qassim Province. 3 terrorists opened fire; security forces fired back, killing 2 terrorists & wounding the 3rd https://t.co/6rzIz4stnB

— Olivier Guitta (@OlivierGuitta) July 8, 2018

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The authorities said a criminal investigation of the attack has begun. 

Four Saudi policemen were killed and four others were wounded on 20 April in an attack targeting a checkpoint in the southwestern province of Asir. 

The kingdom has seen numerous attacks against security forces in recent years by militants, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

It has also seen clashes between Shia militants and security forces in the eastern provinces.