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Originally published Friday, December 28, 2012 at 8:48 AM

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Saudi Arabia says man shot dead in Shiite oil area

A security official in Saudi Arabia says a man was killed in clashes with police in an oil-rich eastern region, where the country's Shiite minority has been holding protests against the Sunni ruling monarchy.

Associated Press

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —

A security official in Saudi Arabia says a man was killed in clashes with police in an oil-rich eastern region, where the country's Shiite minority has been holding protests against the Sunni ruling monarchy.

The official says a police patrol spotted a number of alleged rioters burning tires near police headquarters in Qatif late Thursday. He says police responded with gunfire when fired upon.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Local websites said the man killed in the exchange of fire was 18 years old.

More than a dozen people have been killed in clashes since late last year in Qatif, the kingdom's main oil export hub where a majority of residents are Shiite Muslims.

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