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Gunman killed near Saudi prince's palace: agency

world Updated: Aug 06, 2011 08:15 IST

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Saudi security forces killed a gunman on Saturday morning after he fired at a checkpoint near the interior minister's palace in Jeddah, the state news agency said.

"At 1 am on Saturday, a person carrying a gun fired at a checkpoint in Abdulrahman Al-Malki Street in Jeddah. He was dealt with swiftly and was killed. The event is still under investigation," the statement said.

Around the same time two years ago the interior minister's son, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Al-Saud, who oversees the country's counter-terrorism programme, survived an attempt on his life by a suicide bomber posing as a repentant militant.

Interior ministry spokesperson Mansour al-Turki referred a call for comment to Jeddah police spokesperson Mesfer Aljoayed, who was not immediately available.

The world's biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is an absolute monarchy without an elected parliament or political parties.

Interior minister Prince Nayef, who is believed to be in his late 70s, was appointed as second deputy prime minister in 2009. He spearheaded the country's crackdown on al-Qaeda militants who aimed to destabilise the country between 2003- 2006.