Saudi arrests 2 suspects in January diplomat car attack

RIYADH – The Saudi Interior Ministry announced Sunday the arrest of two gunmen suspected to have been involved in a January attack on a German diplomatic vehicle in the predominantly Shiite Qatif province.

"Within the ongoing investigation into the [January] terrorist attack, Ahmed Bin Hussein Bin Ali has been arrested after evidence revealed his involvement in the crime," Mansour al-Turki, spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, said in a statement.

The identity of the second captured suspect, Hadi Bin Youssef, was reached through interrogations with Bin Ali, according to al-Turki's statement.

On January 13, unknown gunmen shot at a German diplomatic vehicle in the al-Awamiya town in the volatile eastern province. The two diplomats boarding the vehicle survived the attack but the vehicle was burned down.

The Shiite-majority town has been the scene of repeated attacks in recent months.

In late February, three Saudi policemen were injured in an armed attack in the town, days after an exchange of fire between Saudi security forces and a group of "wanted saboteurs" left two policemen and two gunmen dead.

There are 22 people from Qatif listed as "wanted" by the Saudi authorities since February 2011.

Shiites, estimated at 10 percent of the Saudi population of 20 million, have long accused Saudi authorities of marginalization and discrimination in government and military appointments.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency