Two people were killed and six police were hurt in fresh clashes in Save, a restive town in central Benin which is a stronghold of the country’s former president, investigators said Thursday.

“At around 10 am (Wednesday), individuals opened fire on police, seriously wounding six officers… who used their firearms to extract themselves from the situation,” Public Prosecutor Adjima Kalifa Djimila said. 

“At the end of the operation, there were two dead, as well as wounded, among the suspects,” he said.

Save is a stronghold of former president Thomas Boni Yayi, who went into exile last year after being held under de-facto house arrest.

Violence erupted in Save district last June following controversial legislative elections in which opposition parties were unable to take part.

Two civilians were killed and several dozen members of the security forces were hurt.

Clashes occurred in Save again last Thursday after a suspected leader in the June disturbances was arrested.

Barricades were used to close off the country’s main highway which runs through Save, and local people said Thursday the road was still intermittently closed.

“We are holed up in our home. We aren’t even going out to work,” local inhabitant Gratien Gandonou told AFP on Thursday.

“It’s dangerous to put your head outside the door,” a civil servant there said.(AFP)