Security forces in Tunisia have clashed with militants in two separate incidents ahead of the North African country’s parliamentary elections.
On Thursday, police surrounded a house where suspected militants had sheltered in the Oued Ellil suburb of the capital, Tunis. The gunmen had earlier killed one police officer and wounded another during a shootout.
Witnesses at the scene said neighboring houses were evacuated and gas, electricity and water supplies were cut.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said the gunmen’s goal was to disturb the elections.
Earlier in the day, security forces arrested two men armed with assault rifles following a clash in the town of Kebili. A bystander was killed during the exchange of fire.
Tunisia is set to hold parliamentary elections on Sunday, and approximately 5.2 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots.
Over 13,000 candidates started their official electoral campaigns around three weeks ago for the 217 seats in the country’s National Assembly.
The Islamist Ennahda Movement and the secular Nidaa Tounes Party are expected to win the majority of the votes in the upcoming elections.
Authorities have warned that militants would launch a spate of attacks in an attempt to disrupt the elections and destabilize the country.