By G9ija

Two gunmen commited suicide in Tunisia after exchanging fire with security forces in the city of Jilma, located some 250 kilometres south of the capital Tunis.

An interior ministry statement on Thursday said the assailants killed themselves after being surrounded by security forces during a raid on their hideout late on Wednesday.

The toppling of longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali during the Arab Spring uprisings led to a security vacuum that has been exploited by armed groups in the region.

Between 3,000 and 6,000 Tunisians are estimated to have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIL) in Iraq, Syria as well as neighbouring Libya where a civil war is raging.

ISIL has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks, mostly targeting tourist destinations, including one on the Bardo National Museum and a second on a beach resort in the town of Sousse.

An attack by a woman in downtown Tunis in October raised questions about safety in a country where tourism remains vital to the economy.

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