By Ahmed al-Masri
A police officer and a criminal suspect were killed in a gunfight -- while the body of a missing judge was found -- near the city of Qatif in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, the Saudi Interior Ministry said Monday.
The official Saudi Press Agency quoted ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying that the Saudi authorities had received information that Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Jirani, a Shia judge abducted by unknown perpetrators one year ago, had been killed by his captors.
According to the same information, al-Jirani’s body had been disposed of in a remote agricultural area near Qatif, al-Turki said.
Subsequent investigations, the spokesman added, had revealed the involvement of two Saudi citizens -- Zaki Mohammed Salman al-Faraj and half-brother Salman bin Ali Salman al-Faraj -- in al-Jirani’s disappearance and murder.
According to al-Turki, Salman had been wanted by police since 2012 for earlier suspected criminal activity.
The spokesman went on to say that a recent security operation carried out in Qatif had led to Zaki’s arrest, while Salman had been killed in a gunfight with police in which Khalid al-Samati, a police sergeant, was also killed.
Late last year, al-Jirani, a Shia cleric and judge, was abducted from outside his home in the town of Tarout in Eastern Province’s Shia-majority Qatif region.
In January, the Interior Ministry had announced the arrest of three individuals suspected of involvement in al-Jirani’s abduction and identified three others, including the two half-brothers.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.