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6 Tunisia police killed in clash with gunmen


Six Tunisian police were killed in clashes with an armed group in the central Sidi Bouzid region Wednesday, a medical source and state media said, revising down an earlier toll.

A source at the hospital in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun said the bodies of six policemen were in its mortuary, having earlier said that seven policemen had been killed.

The official TAP news agency, citing a local source, confirmed that six policemen had died in the fighting in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun, which broke out when the National Guard raided a house where gunmen were holed up.

The powerful UGTT trade union confederation has called a strike in Sidi Bouzid for Thursday to mourn the slain members of the security forces.

An interior ministry source said earlier that two gunmen were also killed in the clash.

No information was available about the situation at the scene of the firefight, although several sources in the region indicated that the armed group was still at large.

Last week, two policemen were killed in the Beja region west of the capital in similar circumstances, by what the authorities described as a "terrorist group."

Nine militants were killed in an operation launched to catch those responsible.

Tunisia has suffered a wave of deadly attacks blamed on jihadist militants since the ouster of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.