RIYADH - A Saudi policeman was killed in a shoot-out Sunday with suspects planning a "terrorist" attack, the interior ministry said, in the latest such incident this week in the kingdom's west.

The two gunmen were trying to "infiltrate" a police station parking area in the western Taif province to carry out a "terrorist act", the ministry said in a statement on the official SPA news agency.

As they realised that they were being monitored, the men opened machinegun fire at police and fled in a waiting vehicle. Chased by security forces, they abandoned the vehicle and fled into a residential area, the statement said. An exchange of fire left policeman Saeed al-Harithi dead, it said.

Security forces surrounded the area and were searching for the suspects, it said, adding that a suicide vest and nine improvised explosives were found.

The past week has seen a rise in such incidents in the kingdom, where the Islamic State group has previously claimed bombings and other attacks targeting security forces.

On Thursday, a Saudi police officer was shot dead after four suspected militants died during a raid in the area between Taif and the region of Makkah.

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called Saudi Arabia's rulers "apostate tyrants" and called on Saudis to rise up against them.