Saudi media report car bomb explosion in Shiite neighborhood

State-linked Saudi news websites are reporting that a car bomb has exploded in a restive town in the country's Eastern Province, which is heavily populated by minority Shiites.

Video circulating on social media showed a car engulfed in flames and thick plumes of black smoke.

The Saudi media outlets, such as al-Marsad, say the car bomb exploded in the town of Qatif in a district with shops and apartment buildings. Al-Marsad and others say two people inside the car may have been killed.

Violence between Shiite militants and security forces there has increased in recent weeks, with several incidents of militants firing rocket-propelled grenades at police. The Islamic State group has also previously launched attacks on Shiites in Qatif.

The Interior Ministry did not immediately comment on the explosion.