RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Six militants linked to Al Qaeda and one policeman were killed in a shootout here in the Saudi capital today, officials and media said.
"The operation has ended now.... Six armed elements were killed, and a seventh was wounded and arrested," Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television's correspondent said.
One policeman was also killed in the shootout that occurred in a western district of Riyadh.
An Interior Ministry statement said the seven militants were linked to the "deviant group" -- a label used by authorities to describe supporters of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network.
"One security man was martyred in the incident, and there were some injuries among the ranks of security forces," the statement said, adding that the forces had faced heavy fire.
Al Arabiya television quoted security sources as saying the militants were on the verge of launching unspecified attacks when the government forces hit their hide-out.
Islamist activists allied with Al Qaeda have been waging a violent campaign aimed at toppling the monarchy and driving out Westerners. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter.
Officials say about 150 foreigners and Saudis, including members of the security forces, and 130 militants have died in attacks and clashes since May 2003.