Tunisia clashes: gunman killed, two police wounded
A large security sweep in southern Tunisia left two policemen wounded and one Islamist militant killed after clashes on Tuesday, the interior ministry said.
“Since yesterday (Monday), specialist army units have been carrying out a huge security operation in the province of Kebili,” the ministry said.
“At dawn today, during a successful raid and in an exchange of fire with a terrorist group, a terrorist was killed and eight others arrested.”
The two policemen were wounded from shots fired to their legs as the gunmen fled the scene.
A truck being fitted for a bomb was discovered during the raid. Security forced also seized grenades, five cars, large sums of money, IT equipment and 30 mobile phones.
Since the mass uprising that toppled former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in early 2011, Tunisia has been dealing with jihadist violence. The country has also witnessed a surge in deadly attacks this year.
Since January, 30 policemen and soldiers have died in operations focused on jihadist groups believed to be connected to Al-Qaeda. In addition, two opposition MPs have been killed by suspected Islamist gunmen.
The countries tourism sector was hit as well due to two recently botched suicide attacks at nearby coastal resorts which heightened fears for the industry.
Secular opposition has accused the ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, of failing to control extremist groups thus causing the violence increase and a major political crisis in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.