Saudi police colonel shot dead in ISIS-claimed attack

RIYADH (AFP) - A Saudi police colonel was shot dead in the Riyadh region on Tuesday (April 5), the interior ministry said, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Colonel Kattab Majid al-Hammadi was killed by gunfire "from an unknown source" in the town of Duwadimi, the ministry said in a statement, adding that an investigation has been launched.

Najd Province, the ISIS affiliate in Saudi Arabia, said in a statement on Twitter that its militants had "assassinated" the officer.

It threatened further attacks against security forces in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The attack is the second claimed by the Sunni extremist group against Saudi police in the past four days.

The interior ministry announced that a foreign resident was killed in a bomb blast targeting a police patrol vehicle late on Saturday, also in the Riyadh region.

Authorities did not specify the nationality of the victim in that incident but said two security patrol vehicles parked in the area were damaged in the bombing claimed by Najd Province.

IS frequently claims attacks on Saudi security forces as well as deadly bombings and shootings that target the kingdom's Shiite minority.

In August, an ISIS suicide bomber struck a mosque inside a Saudi special forces headquarters, killing 15 people.

ISIS, which controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in the region and elsewhere, including deadly bombings in Brussels last month.

In December, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an "anti-terrorism" coalition whose members it said would share intelligence, counter violent ideology and deploy troops if necessary to combat extremists.

The kingdom is also part of the US-led coalition bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria.