Tunisian forces kill 2 'terrorists' near border attack town

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Tunis, Mar 19: Tunisian authorities said two "terrorists" were killed today close to the southern town of Ben Guerdane near the border with Libya where jihadists mounted a deadly assault earlier this month.

Four people were also wounded in clashes -- three civilians and a member of the security forces, the sources said.

tunisia

"During security and military operations in Ben Guerdane, security forces and the army killed two terrorists holed up in a house... in the vicinity of the town," the defence and interior ministries said in a joint statement.

It described "an exchange of fire between terrorists and security forces who were preparing to search the house," adding that three civilians were wounded by shrapnel and a member of the National Guard was wounded in the foot.

On March 7, dozens of jihadists mounted a dawn assault on security installations in Ben Guerdane, which is near the border with unrest-plagued Libya.

Thirteen members of the security forces and seven civilians were killed in those attacks, according to official figures. There was no claim of responsibility for the March 7 attacks, but the authorities blamed them on the Islamic State group (IS).

In the west, meanwhile, the army fought militants in clashes that left a soldier wounded, the defence ministry said.

"A soldier was wounded during an exchange of fire today morning between army units and a terrorist group at Jabal Samama" in the Kasserine region, Lieutenant Colonel Belhassen Oueslati told AFP.

Separately, the interior ministry said three gunmen had opened fire overnight on a police outpost along the border with Algeria.

"There was an exchange of fire between security forces at the post and terrorists before the attackers fled," a ministry statement said, adding that no one was injured.

Tunisia has failed to curb a rise in extremism since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Last year, IS claimed attacks on the Bardo museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel, killing 59 tourists in total, and the suicide bombing of a bus that killed 12 presidential guards. Thousands of Tunisians have signed up to fight abroad with extremist groups. 

AFP

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