Saudi security forces arrested seven suspected militants in a raid Sunday in an Islamic fundamentalist stronghold north of the capital, where a militant attack killed three policemen, the Interior Ministry said.

The violence occurred in Buraydah, a town 220 miles northwest of Riyadh (search), where police last week arrested two suspected Saudi militants and a Pakistani man.

A raid on a location in Buraydah (search) led to the capture of seven suspected militants by police, according to an Interior Ministry statement read on Saudi Television One and the news network Al-Ekhbariya.

Police forces also chased a car carrying suspected militants, who fired on a police vehicle and caused it to burst into flames, killing three security personnel, according to the TV stations.

No further details were given.

Buraydah is a fundamentalist stronghold in the kingdom and the birthplace of Wahhabism (search) — the doctrine the Saudi royal family embraced long ago as a trade-off for its absolute power.

Since May 2003, Islamic militants have carried out numerous homicide bombings and kidnappings, and have engaged regularly in gunbattles with security forces. The attacks, which have tended to target foreign workers, have been blamed on the Al Qaeda (search) terror group and allied militants.