Teacher 'kills six colleagues' in Saudi Arabia shooting attack

The man has been arrested and authorities have not announced a possible motive

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The Independent Online

A teacher has reportedly shot dead at least six people at a local government building in Saudi Arabia.

The unidentified man stormed education ministry offices in the southern region of Jizan and opened fire with an automatic weapon, the Arab News website reported.

Local media said six office staff were killed and three injured but did not offer a motive for the shooting. 

General Mansour Turki, a spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry, told Al Arabiya it was being treated as a criminal incident and the shooter had been arrested.

There was speculation that the secondary school teacher had issues with management or was suffering from mental illness.

Journalists tweeted photographs showing ambulances gathered outside of the building in the aftermath of the attack. 

The office compound was cordoned off as investigations continued.

Mass shootings are rare in Saudi Arabia, which has faced a series of recent attacks by Isis militants. 

It is is leading a coalition of countries conducting air strikes and ground operations in neighbouring Yemen in support of the country's internationally recognised government, resulting rebels targeting Jizan with missiles and cross-border fire.

Authorities said they shot down a ballistic missile targeting its capital of Jazan on Tuesday and that a police officer in the surrounding province was killed in a separate shooting incident on the same day.

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

Additional reporting by agencies