Shooting Erupts in Saudi Capital

Shooting erupted in the Saudi capital after a police patrol tried to stop a car, the Ministry of Interior said Monday.

No one was injured and no arrests were immediately reported, according to a ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. The statement did not say whether Sunday's shooting was believed linked to a crackdown on militants launched after May 12 bombing attacks in Riyadh (search), the capital, killed 26 people and nine attackers.

The ministry said a driver fled in his car when police tried to stop him along a main highway in Riyadh Sunday night. Such traffic checks have become routine since May 12.

The driver later stopped at a rest point on the highway where two other cars appeared. Several people emerged from the other cars and started shooting, the ministry said.

The ministry said an investigation is underway.

The Saudi daily Al-Jazira, quoting "security sources," said that between eight to 10 suspects were involved and that weapons, explosives personal belongings and identification cards were found at the rest stop after the shooting.

Saudi police have stepped up efforts to crush the networks of Al Qaeda (search) -- blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks (search) on the United States as well as the May 12 Riyadh bombings. More than 200 suspects have been arrested and more than a dozen killed in a series of high-profile police raids.

The May 12 bombings also sparked unprecedented public discussion of the role of religion in Saudi society, with some daring to argue the strict form of Islam preached in the kingdom fostered intolerance and extremism.