A new Tunisian government could be announced Monday, one day after the country's army clashed with armed gangs and remnants of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's personal guard.
Tanks patrolled the streets of Tunis on Sunday, two days after enraged protesters caused Ben Ali to flee the country. Government troops appeared to be in control of the presidential palace in the seaside suburb of Carthage on Sunday evening, but sporadic gunfire continued around the neighborhood as night fell, said Mohamad Guiga, a nearby resident.
"It is a battle zone," Guiga told CNN by telephone from his home, about 1 kilometer (half a mile) from the palace. "From time to time, we hear some shooting," he said. The sound is very clear, he added.
On Sunday, the country's prime minister said a unity government would be formed soon.
Abdel Latif Abid, a human rights lawyer and an opposition party founder, said the new government was expected to be announced Monday, with three opposition leaders holding ministry posts.
Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on Friday after ruling the country for 23 years. His ouster followed weeks of protest over what Tunisians said were poor living conditions, high unemployment, government corruption and repression.
The demonstrations were triggered by the suicide of an unemployed college graduate, who set himself ablaze in December after police confiscated the fruit cart that was his source of income.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who has been leading the government since Friday, said on Tunis TV Sunday night that a deal to form a new government -- with members of the opposition in the cabinet -- was near.
Among those Abid said would be joining the government was Mustapha Ben Jafar, who is expected to serve as health minister. Earlier, Jafar said opposition leaders don't want to be a fig leaf for the ruling party, but want an active role in running Tunisia after more than two decades of authoritarian rule.
"The most important thing for me is to build during this period the basis for a democratic Tunisia where all the citizens participate and where we can build a civic society -- this is what I spent 40 years of my life working for," Jafar said.
Meanwhile, police made more arrests Sunday, including looters and some of the deposed president's relatives. Imed Trabelsi, the nephew of the ousted president, was detained along with 23 other relatives, Tunis TV reported.
Troops also exchanged gunfire with armed gangs near the headquarters of an opposition party, Abid said. But Guiga said most Tunisians are happy with Ben Ali's ouster and have rallied to each other's aid since the uprising.