He triggered the blast after officers surrounded his vehicle south of the capital, Riyadh, on Thursday evening.

A security source told Asharq Al-Awsat the attacker had been identified as Abdullah Fahd Abdullah Al-Rasheed, a19-year-old Saudi national who had never traveled outside the Kingdom. Isis forces, which controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, has expanded its operations into Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Kuwait and Yemen, and yesterday claimed a suicide bomb attack at a Riyadh checkpoint.

Isis named the slain colonel as Rashid Ibrahim al-Sufyan and said that Rashid had machine-gunned him in his own home.

The driver detonated the explosives after being stopped at a security checkpoint, killing himself and wounding two security officers. “The driver initiated an explosion which led to his death”, the interior ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.

This year a Saudi militant cell affiliated with Islamic State carried out two bombings of Shi’a mosques, killing 25, and sympathisers also shot dead three policemen and wounded another in a series of attacks in Riyadh.

The detention of thousands of Saudi Islamists accused or convicted of militancy over the past decade has angered many conservative Sunni Muslims in the kingdom, prompting a few rare protests from 2011-13.

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