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Saudi Security Officer Shot Dead in Attack Claimed by ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A policeman inspects the site of a car bomb near the Shi’ite al-Anoud mosque in Saudi Arabia’s city Dammam.- Reuters

Assailants shot dead a senior Saudi security officer west of the capital Riyadh on Tuesday, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state media.

ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Saudi state news agency SPA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying that the officer, Colonel Kitab Majed al-Hammadi, was shot dead in the al-Arja area of al-Dawadimi province west of the Saudi capital.

Security authorities are investigating the murder, the spokesman added.

Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, told Asharq Al Awsat that attack is an act of cowardice that indicates ISIS’s incapability of direct confrontation, as the carry out their cowardly terrorist operations by taking advantage of someone on a desert road, or by luring their relatives who work in the security and military sector.

Turki assured that security officials are firstly targeted by ISIS, due to the security achievements that have led to thwarting a number of terrorist operations, capturing ISIS members and unveiling their schemes.

ISIS’s Amaq news website said the group’s offshoot, known as the Nejd Province, carried out the attack and identified Hammadi as the director of internal security in the al-Quwayiyah region.

Furthermore, a security official told Asharq Al Awsat over a phone call, that two men in a pickup truck were following Al-Hammadi on his way to his work as he took the desert road in the area of al-Dawadmi, located 124 miles (200 km) west of Riyadh.

The perpetrators passed Al-Hammadi’s car, then came back from the opposite side and shot him dead, the source explained.

The Saudi kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, has been witnessing a wave of deadly shootings and bombings targeting security forces or its Shi’ite Muslim minority since last year. ISIS claimed responsibility for a number of these attacks.

ISIS is assaulting both Shi’ites and Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab rulers, as it is seen to be trying to provoke sectarian strife on the Arabian Peninsula to bring about anarchy.

The Nejd Province group claimed responsibility on Sunday for an explosion next to a police station south of Riyadh that killed one person and damaged police vehicles.

Najd Province first came to attention in May 2015, when it claimed responsibility for the bombing of Shia Ali b. Abi Talib Mosque in Al Qudaih, near Qatif. This attack took the lives of 21 people and left more than 100 injured. A week later, a suicide bomber from the terror group, dressed as a woman, killed four people near the Shia Imam Hussein mosque in Dammam.