At least three people have been killed after Tunisia’s army and police clashed with Islamist militants in Ben Guerdan, a town close to the Libyan frontier.
Authorities warned people to stay in their homes as gunfire erupted in the town centre. Islamist militants trained in Libya carried out several attacks on Tunisia last year and the government has increased frontier security.
This latest incident comes less than a week after five militants who had slipped the Libyan border were killed by Tunisian security forces.
Troops have been on alert in the border area following reports that militants had been slipping across since a US air strike on an Islamic State group training camp in Libya on February 18 killed dozens of Tunisian militants.
Tunisia has built a 200km barrier that stretches about half the length of its border with Libya in an attempt to stop militants infiltrating.
Last month the US struck on the ISIS training camp outside the Libyan city of Sabratha targeting suspected mastermind of two of last year’s attacks, Noureddine Chouchane.
Washington has said Chouchane was likely among the dozens of militants killed, and that the strike probably averted a mass shooting or similar attack in Tunisia.