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Saudi arrests IS follower accused of killing officer

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Saturday revealed the identity of a man it accuses of killing a soldier last week, saying he confessed to being a follower of the ISIS jihadist group.

An interior ministry spokesman said the assailant was captured three days after shooting dead soldier Abdullah al-Rashidi on Sunday in the northwestern city of Tabuk.

“The culprit confessed to adopting the doctrine of terrorist (group) Daesh,” the spokesman said using the Arabic acronym for IS, in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

The man, identified as Hayel al-Atawi, said he “committed the crime in response to a call by the (IS) organisation to target military personnel,” the statement added.

Seven others were arrested in relation to the killing, it said.

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks against Saudi Arabia, which belongs to a US-led coalition battling the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

Since late 2014 IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings targeting Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well as the security forces.