two men have been killed following Sunday's arrest of a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric that stirred some limited protests.

Riyadh - Two Saudi policemen were injured when gunmen opened fire on their patrol in the mainly Shiite eastern province of Qatif, police said on Friday.

The attack was the third of its kind in two weeks, provincial police spokesman Ziad al-Raqaiti said.

On Saturday, January 14, 2012, a policeman was wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen in the province.

Qatif has for months been a central point for protests by the Shiite minority who have called for political reforms in the ultra-conservative Sunni-ruled kingdom, where protests are illegal.

One protester was killed in clashes between security forces and Shiite protesters in the province last week. The government refers to the protesters as “rioters” and has repeatedly accused “foreign instigators,” in reference to Iran, of financing the unrest.

Earlier this month, Saudi authorities published the names of 23 Shiites wanted on charges of carrying out a “foreign agenda” in the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula country. - Sapa-dpa