Shia man killed by Saudi Arabian police in restive Qatif region

Saudi police shot and killed a man Sunday in the Shia area of Qatif.

The killing is the second police shooting in two days in the restive eastern governate of Saudi Arabia that is a Shia stronghold.

Government sources said the dead man, Ibrahim al-Rebah, had been wanted by police for causing unrest in the region.

Fars News Agency, an Iranian outlet, said that he was one of 23 other Shia activists currently wanted by police. 

He was said to have been shot dead by police after exchanging gunfire with them.

Another man, Ali al-Mahrous, was shot by police on Friday, apparently dying in similar circumstances.

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The deaths are the first since earlier this year in the governate

Shias in Saudi Arabia have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the government.

Shia uprisings in Qatif in 2011 lead to several deaths at the hands of police and saw the protest movement spread to neighboring Bahrain - a country with a Shia majority population but led by Sunni monarchs.

At least 20 people have been killed in Saudi Arabia since 2011 because of the sectarian unrest.

The last few months have seen an uneasy calm in the area, reported Reuters but the recent violence is sparking fears of another period of unrest.