A Saudi police officer has shot dead a man in a predominantly Shia region located in Eastern Province.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, the incident occurred late on Thursday in Qatif, a hub of anti-regime protests in 2012.

A spokesman for the ministry said on Friday that the suspect was killed during an exchange of fire and a police officer was also wounded.

The incident comes days after a policeman was killed in Qatif by an attacker.

As the Saudi regime witnesses an increase in the number of deadly attacks targeting security forces or the Shia minority, the local branches of ISIS terrorist group have claimed responsibility for many of the attacks.

Since 2011, the Shia-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful protests, with protesters demanding reform, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners.

The demonstrators also demand an end to Saudi regime’s economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

Over a year ago, Saudi Arabia executed prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of Riyadh’s policies who had been arrested in 2012 in Qatif.

Nimr was charged with undermining Saudi Arabia’s security among other charges, but he had rejected all of them as baseless.