Police in western Tunisia killed two suspected jihadi terrorists and seized guns and a suicide belt in a raid Wednesday, Tunisia’s interior ministry said.
The two men were known to police and had been on a terrorist wanted list before dying in an hours-long shootout that lasted from Tuesday into early Wednesday.
The ministry said in a statement the two men had been planning a terrorist attack in the region and called the mission a “preventative assault.”
One other civilian was killed in the gun battle after being struck by a stray bullet fired by one of the jihadists, police said.
The raid comes just two days after landmines and rockets were used to ambush a military patrol in a remote mountain area in nearby Kasserine. Three soldiers were killed and eight more wounded in the ambush, which was claimed by the al-Qaida linked group Okba Ibn Nafaa.
Okba Ibn Nafaa has claimed responsibility for several attacks recently on Tunisia’s army and police, though the ministry did not specify if the two men killed Wednesday were affiliated with the group.