Saudi Arabia says a man from Bahrain has been shot and killed during a security operation in the kingdom's east.

The Interior Ministry identified the man as Ali Mahmoud Ali Abdullah and said authorities shot him near the town of Awamiya on Tuesday afternoon in Saudi Arabia's predominantly Shiite east.

The Interior Ministry statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, said Abdullah was wanted for committing "a number of terrorist crimes" and shot at security forces during his arrest, leading to their fatal fire.

Mohammed al-Nimr, the brother of a local Shiite cleric executed by the kingdom in January, said Abdullah was not known to be a terror suspect and called for calm in the region.

Tensions have been high in eastern Saudi Arabia since Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr's execution.