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Three Saudis accused of terrorism killed in Shi'ite Muslim Qatif region: security official

DUBAI (Reuters) - Three Saudi men accused of terrorism were killed on Wednesday after they resisted arrest in the eastern Shi’ite Muslim region of Qatif, a Saudi security spokesman said on Thursday.

Three members of the Saudi security forces suffered light injuries, he said. The three killed “are linked to the terror incidents that happened in Qatif,” he said.

In January 2016 Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, one of the most vocal critics of the Al Saud royal family and a supporter of anti-government protests that erupted in the eastern region in 2011.

His execution triggered protests in this region, where Shi’ites complain of marginalization and discrimination by the Sunni-led kingdom. Riyadh denies discrimination against Shi’ites.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Andrew Heavens