A Saudi policeman was shot dead and three were wounded during a raid which devolved into a gun battle in the eastern Saudi city of Awamiya on Sunday, state news agency SPA said.
"An exchange of fire led to the injury of Corporal Majid bin Turki al-Qahtani, and his death after being taken to hospital - may God have mercy on him and accept him as a martyr - and wounded three security men, a citizen, and a (foreign) resident," with moderate wounds, SPA said.
The agency said forces undertook the search against "terrorist elements" and retrieved automatic weapons, pistols and communication equipment. It added that four Saudis were arrested after the firefight for targeting the officers.
Tension is growing in the country's oil-rich Eastern province, one of the main centres of the Shi'ite community in majority Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, as neighboring Yemen, Iraq and Syria contend with violent sectarian conflict.