The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), citing a state security spokesperson, said the recently-formed "terrorist" cell in a Shiite minority area was preparing to carry out terror activities in the country, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, local netizens have posted alleged footage of the skirmish between terrorist suspects and Saudi security forces.
Eastern regions of Saudi Arabia are populated by a Shiite minority averse to the ruling monarchy in Riyadh. The area is prone to attacks on security forces.
Reports that #Saudi 🇸🇦 security launched a raid & killed a number of wanted fugitives in Sanabis town on Tarut Island east of the predominately Shiite #Qatif regionhttps://t.co/BQuNNUgLnL https://t.co/oLQ0OMPgqW https://t.co/vOvfjrmepv pic.twitter.com/qG2wc16nVt— Saad (@SaadAbedine) May 11, 2019
According to the Saudi Gazette, security forces attacked the terrorist cell at an apartment in the Sanabis neighbourhood of the town of Tarout in Qatif, at around 10 a.m. local time on Saturday.
According to a statement by a spokesperson for the presidency carried by the SPA, no other residents in the neighbourhood or local civilians were injured during the operation.
The oil-producing province is reportedly a regular flash point between representatives of the Sunni government in Riyadh and minority Shiites who complain of discrimination. Saudi authorities deny allegations of mistreatment.