May 16, 11:26 AM EDT

Attack kills Saudi officer in city known for Shiite unrest

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Saudi Arabia says a militant attack on a security patrol killed an officer and wounded five others in a city that has been a flashpoint of anti-government unrest among minority Shiites.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki says the security patrol was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade Monday evening in the eastern city of al-Awamiya.

The city was home to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric convicted on terrorism charges and executed last year. His execution sparked protests in Iran and outrage among Saudi Shiites who viewed him as an outspoken activist and resistance figure.

Al-Turki said in a statement Tuesday the officer who was killed belonged to the Special Security Forces unit tasked with counterterrorism.

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