Tunisia's Interior Ministry says National Guard units killed one suspected militant and arrested eight others in an operation far in the desert south of the country.

Following a failed suicide bomb attack on a hotel late last month, security forces have been carrying out operations around the country seeking out terrorist groups.

The ministry said in a statement that special forces descended on a house near the remote desert town of Kebili early Tuesday and fought with the "suspected terrorists." It says five vehicles, 30 mobile phones, a grenade and computers were seized.

The ministry says they also discovered a truck that was to be rigged with explosives.

Past clashes with militants have been mostly farther to the north in the mountains along the Algerian border.