Saudi police officer killed in kingdom's Shiite east

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) " Authorities in Saudi Arabia say a police officer working on a traffic patrol has been shot dead in the kingdom's predominantly Shiite east amid continued unrest in neighboring Bahrain.

The Interior Ministry said the officer, identified as Faisal al-Harbi, was killed by unknown assailants early Friday morning in the city of Saihat. It said an investigation was ongoing.

The Sunni-ruled kingdom's Shiite east has been tense since the January execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. In recent weeks, an intensifying crackdown by the Sunni rulers of neighboring Bahrain has seen activists and Shiite leaders detained or forced into exile, exacerbating regional tensions.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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