Tunisian police have clashed with Islamist gunmen in a remote mountainous area in the southern region of Gabes, killing at least two militants, the interior ministry said on Monday.
Tunisia’s security forces are on a campaign against Islamist militants who have targeted military checkpoints and patrols in outlying areas. Islamic State has also claimed three deadly urban attacks last year that hit Tunisia’s tourism industry.
“During counter-terrorism operations, police exchanged fire with a group of terrorists. First indications are that two terrorists were killed and a policeman injured,” the ministry said in a statement.
Tunisia has escaped major upheaval and violence suffered by other countries who ousted longstanding leaders in the 2011 Arab Spring revolts. It has been held up as a model for democratic transition since the uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
But its young democracy and economy were tested by three major attacks last year, including Islamic State shootings targeting foreigners at a Sousse beach hotel and a Tunis museum, and also a suicide bombing in the capital.