At least one militant and a Kuwaiti security officer were killed, Monday morning, in an intense gun battle south of Kuwait City between security forces and militants believed to be loyal to Osama bin Laden. A civilian was also reported to have been killed in the latest clash between militants and security forces.

Kuwaiti police, in pursuit of a group of suspected militants, raided a villa south of Kuwait City, Monday, reportedly firing thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Kuwaiti television reported security forces were in pursuit of as many as nine suspected militants. Police surrounded a villa in the al-Qurain district, early Monday, morning after receiving a tip.

Witnesses say sporadic gunfire broke out about three o'clock in the morning. Four hours later, heavy gunfire was heard as hundreds of police and commando units were reported to have stormed the villa.

Kuwait has been experiencing a surge of violence with militants suspected of having links to the terror group al-Qaida.

Sunday, a policeman and a militant were killed in a gun battle in Kuwait. Two security officers and two gunmen were also killed in clashes, earlier this month.

The Kuwaiti government has vowed raids against militant groups will continue.