Saudi policeman killed in raid, ISIS flags found: Ministry

A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad on Sept 11, 2014.
A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad on Sept 11, 2014.PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP, REUTERS) - Saudi security forces found Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group flags during a raid on Friday in which an officer was shot dead, the interior ministry said.

The killing came with the Gulf region on alert against attacks by ISIS, which has been blamed for killing other Saudi policemen and has claimed three deadly mosque bombings in the kingdom and Kuwait.

"They arrested three suspects, confiscated Daesh flags, silencers and personal laptops," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The policeman was killed in an exchange of gunfire during a raid to arrest a wanted person in the western city of Taif, SPA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying.

SPA said security men had come under fire on Friday while investigating a house in Taif where the suspect was believed to be hiding and responded to the fire in kind.

It said Sergent Awad Seraj al-Malki was killed in the clash.

The statement suggested that the militant, identified as Youssef Abdellatif Shabab al-Ghamdi, remained at large and it urged citizens to help capture him, warning against anyone giving him shelter.

Saudi Arabia last month announced a list of 16 people it said were involved in two deadly mosque bombings claimed by Islamic State in May and offered a cash reward of five million riyals (S$1.8 million) for information leading to their arrest.