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Tunisia says IS-linked extremist group leader killed

IS earlier claimed murder of Tunisia soldier [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 November, 2016

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A leader of an extremist group that shot dead a soldier has been hunted down and killed in a central region of Tunisia, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

A leader of an extremist group that shot dead a soldier at his home has been hunted down and killed in a central region of Tunisia, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

"After giving chase to an armed group on the night of Nov. 8 in the Mount Salloum area, military units gunned down the terrorist Talal Saidi," a leader of the Jund al-Khilafa group, on Mount Mghilla, it said.

Islamic State [IS] claimed responsibility for the killing of the soldier at his home in the central region that is a major hideout for Sunni Muslim militants.

The ministry said Saidi, from the restive region of Sidi Bouzid, was the leader of the group which killed the soldier on Nov. 5.

Since Tunisia's 2011 revolution, security forces have been battling a jihadist movement responsible for the deaths of dozens of soldiers and police officers as well as civilians.

A total of 59 tourists have also been killed.

The country has been under a state of emergency for almost a year following a string of deadly attacks in 2015, claimed by groups affiliated with IS and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

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