February 11, 2016 9:59 am
Updated: February 11, 2016 10:15 am

State TV: Teacher shoots dead 6 colleagues in rare Saudi Arabia mass shooting

A man walks beside the Saudi flag on December 9, 2015 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A teacher in southern Saudi Arabia opened fire on colleagues Thursday, killing at least six people and wounding two, state television reported.

The brief reports on the state television channel’s website and Twitter account did not elaborate or offer a reason for the shooting at an education department building. It quoted an unnamed police spokesman for the information and said the suspected shooter was in custody.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency did not immediately report the shooting.

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State TV posted a still photograph that showed ambulances gathered outside the building where the shooting took place in Jazan province.

Mass shootings are rare in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has faced a series of recent attacks by Islamic State militants.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of countries conducting airstrikes and ground operations in neighbouring Yemen in support of the deeply impoverished country’s internationally recognized government. It is fighting against Iranian-backed Shiite rebels and supporters of a former president, who control the capital and other parts of the country.

Jazan, on the kingdom’s southern border with Yemen, has been targeted by missiles and cross-border fire since Saudi Arabia intervened in the conflict. On Tuesday, authorities said they shot down a ballistic missile targeting the city and that a police officer in the surrounding province was killed in a separate shooting incident.

In October, two people were killed and another two were wounded when a gunman opened fire inside a bank in the city of Jazan.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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