TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities stormed the home of suspected militants to end a 24-hour standoff Friday, leaving five women and one man dead in a suburb of Tunis, the capital.
Responding to a tipoff Thursday, police had surrounded the home in Oued Ellil and were shot at by the inhabitants, who killed one policeman. One gunman was killed and another captured during the Friday morning raid and one child and a security forces member were wounded, the state news agency said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui described all the dead as "terrorists."
Negotiations to evacuate the women and children, who Aroui said were apparently family members of the gunmen, were unsuccessful.
In another clash Thursday, police arrested two men armed with assault rifles in the southern city of Kebili in a dispute that killed a bystander, officials said. Aroui said the men were planning a terrorist attack but did not elaborate further.
Tunisia is holding key a parliamentary election Sunday, hoping to complete its democratic transition after the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. There have been warnings by the government that terrorists would seek to disrupt the vote.
In recent weeks, Tunisian security forces have conducted a string of operations aimed at dismantling extremist cells.