Saudi policeman wounded in drive-by shooting

RIYADH: A Saudi policeman was wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a patrol in the Red Sea city of Jeddah before escaping in their vehicle, state media said on Monday.


The shooting occurred on Sunday night, and the wounded patrol commander was in stable condition, the official SPA news agency reported, citing a police statement.

Investigations were underway to track down the assailants, it added.

Attacks on security forces in Saudi Arabia have multiplied in recent months with most of them blamed on or claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

The deadliest was on August 6 when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vest in a mosque within the grounds of a police headquarters in the southern city of Abha, killing 15 people.

That attack was claimed by the self-styled Islamic State (IS) affiliate “Al-Hijaz Province”.

IS, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has expanded across the region, claiming responsibility for attacks on two Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in May and a third in Kuwait in June.

It has also been blamed for several shootings targeting foreigners in the kingdom.

A Saudi policeman was shot dead on July 3 during a raid in which three people were arrested and IS flags were found.

But incidents similar to Sunday’s could also be linked to criminal activity, including trade in illicit drugs.