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IS supporter killed in shootout with Saudi police

Three suspected supporters of the Islamic State group have been arrested in the eastern Saudi city of Taif
Members of the Saudi special police unit perform during a parade in Mecca, on September 28 (AFP)

A Saudi fugitive was killed in a shootout with police after having escaped a raid on suspected militants, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

A policeman was shot dead during Friday's raid in the eastern city of Taif in which three suspects were arrested and flags of the Islamic State group seized.

The operation was launched to detain Yousif Abdulatif Shabab al-Ghamdi but he managed to flee, only to be later tracked down by police and killed in a shootout, said the ministry.

It did not specify when Ghamdi died but said he opened fire with an automatic weapon and a pistol prompting police to shoot, it said, quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.

Friday's raid came with Gulf states on alert against attacks by IS, which has been blamed for deadly attacks on Saudi policemen and Shiite mosque bombings in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

An-IS affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, claimed the suicide bombings in May and June at mosques of the minority Shiite community.

Gulf interior ministers on Friday held an emergency meeting in Kuwait and called for coordination to confront "this serious epidemic".