Tunisia militant shootouts kill 2 people

Members of the Tunisian National Guard take positions as they secure the scene of a shooting in the Oued Ellil suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. A Tunisia official says a security officer has been killed in a shootout that began when a suspect’s home was surrounded near the capital. Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui says the exchange of fire Thursday came after a pair of counterterrorism operations in the south that left one bystander dead. (AP Photo/Aimen Zine)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Three days before a national election in Tunisia, police clashed with suspected militants in two areas of the country on Thursday and at least two people were killed.

In Oued Ellil, a suburb of Tunis, the capital, security forces surrounded a home of suspected militants after a shootout there killed one police officer and wounded another.

Negotiations were underway aimed at releasing women and children in the house who apparently are family members of the gunmen inside, said Interior Minister spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui.

He said the gunmen’s goal was to disturb Sunday’s election.

Witnesses at the scene said gas and electricity to the surrounded home have been cut.

Early Thursday morning, police arrested two men armed with assault rifles in the southern of Kebili in a clash that left a bystander dead, officials said. Without providing details, Aroui said the men were planning a terrorist attack.

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