Militants attacked a checkpoint in a town in southwest Tunisia early on Sunday, killing a policeman and wounding three others, security officials said.
Two militants were also killed in an exchange of fire during the attack near Kebili, which lies on the edge of Tunisia’s southern desert region, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Interior Ministry described the incident as a “terrorist attack.”
The motorcycle-mounted gunmen opened fire on a police patrol that had set up a checkpoint at a roundabout in the town, one security official said, adding that a fourth attacker fled the scene. Security forces were combing the area to search for militants who may have escaped following the attack, a second official said.
“Homemade explosives” were found on the motorbikes, the ministry added.
Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in militant attacks that have cost the lives of dozens of members of the security forces and also 59 foreign tourists.
Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by Daesh killed 12 presidential guards.
The country has been trying to tackle the militant threat after suffering major attacks by militants in 2015 and early 2016, including deadly assaults on tourists at a museum in Tunis and on a beach in Sousse.
Militants occasionally target patrols and checkpoints, but attacks in towns and cities are rare.