A firefight broke out between suspected terrorists and police near a national guard barracks early Sunday in the central Tunisian region of Kairouan, police said.
They said in a statement that gunmen in a car opened fire but were repelled by a “massive” retaliatory barrage, without any casualties reported in the exchange.
Those responsible for “this cowardly attack were probably... part of a terrorist cell,” operating between Kairouan and Sousse in eastern Tunisia, that had been dismantled with arrests made, the statement said.
The attack came on Tunisia’s independence day and with the country plunged in political crisis since a power grab last July by President Kais Saeid.
Following the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia saw a surge in militant attacks across the country.
Many Tunisians also travelled to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS or other extremists.
In March 2016, 13 members of the security forces, seven civilians and at least 55 terrorists were killed as ISIS members launched a battle in the town of Ben Guerdane near the border with Libya.
The situation has since vastly improved but Tunisian security forces continue to hunt suspected terrorists.
On March 4, a Tunisian court sentenced 16 people to death in the first judgements against extremists involved in the Ben Guerdane attacks.
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