Six Saudis have been killed during shooting in Assir, a volatile region south west of the country close to the Yemeni border. Three others were also injured and taken to hospital. State run news agency SPA reported today that Saudi police in the province are investigating the incident but provided no information concerning the attacker.
The incident is said to have been sparked by a dispute between two families, according to local reports. The victims are in their 30s and 40s. Weapons used in the shooting have been seized by police and arrests are being made. Police officials have given no indication if the shooting was terrorism-related.
There has been unrest in the region in recent months. April witnessed a mutiny among Saudi-backed mercenaries fighting on behalf of exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The incidents occurred in the Jizan, Najran and Assir, which were historically Yemeni territories.
In March Pro-Houthi forces claimed the ‘largest operation’ against Saudi Arabia in the same mountainous province. The attack was the first major assault on the kingdom since last September’s attacks on Aramco oil facilities.
The region is also popular with smugglers. Last year Saudi security officials arrested 825 people suspected of smuggling weapons and drugs.