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Teacher 'kills several colleagues' in Jazan, Saudi Arabia

A gunman has opened fire inside an education department office in Saudi Arabia, killing several employees, the kingdom's interior ministry said. Early reports identified the shooter as a disgruntled teacher.

At least six people died and two more were wounded in the "criminal attack," Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour Turki said on Thursday.

The security forces have arrested the assailant, Turki added.

According to a report by Saudi state television, the shooter was a teacher who targeted his colleagues in the local education department in the southern Jazan region. Other media, however, reported that the suspect was a client, not an employee of the office.

The local news outlets also described the attack as a result of a personal dispute.

Officers responded to a report that a man "was shooting at a number of employees while they were carrying out their duties," the Al-Ekhbariya channel reported on its Twitter account.

The police did not immediately provide details on the suspect's identity and motive.

Saudi Arabia has seen several instances of deadly violence in recent months, mostly motivated by the

sectarian strife between the dominant Sunnis and the Shiite

minority. A suicide attack on Shiite worshipers claimed four lives in January. More than 90 people - both soldiers and civilians - were also killed in the shelling by Yemen rebels in the Jazan border region.

However, mass shootings lacking religious or political motivations are rare in the oil-rich kingdom.

dj/jil (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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