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Saudi soldier shot dead in Shiite area

Demonstrators gather in Qatif, in the Shiite-populated east of Saudi Arabia, on July 8, 2012--since 2011, protests and sporadic attacks on security forces have occurred in Shiite areasA Saudi soldier died Sunday in a Shiite area of the Sunni-dominated kingdom’s east after a gunman opened fire, official media said. Officers “came under fire from an unknown gunman firing from the farms” near Awamiya killing one soldier, the Saudi Press Agency said. Awamiya, just west of Dammam city on the Gulf coast, has witnessed clashes between security forces and protesters from the minority Shiite community. In February, a firefight in Awamiya left two policemen and two suspects dead.

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