Tunisian forces kill five 'militants' near Libyan border

Tunisian forces kill five 'militants' near Libyan border
2 min read
02 March, 2016
Five "terrorists" have been killed by Tunisian forces in clashes in the Ben Guerdane district near the Libyan border on Wednesday evening, the defence ministry said.
Tunisian forces have attempted to bolster security at the border with Libya [AFP]

Tunisian security forces killed five "terrorists" in clashes in the Ben Guerdane district near the Libyan border on Wednesday evening, the defence ministry said.

"Five terrorists holed up in a house in El Aouija (6 miles outside Ben Guerdane) were killed by troops and police," ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati told AFP, adding that five Kalashnikov assault rifles had been recovered.

Local sources told The New Arab that the clashes also resulted in the injury of a Tunisian civilian and an officer in he security forces.

The incident started after a four-wheel drive vehicle failed to stop at a National Guard checkpoint in the area, which led to security forces giving chase, according to local sources.

The occupants of the vehicle took refuge in a house in El Aouija, where a firefight between the suspected militants and troops ensued.

An interior ministry statement said that in recent days "terrorist groups" had entered Tunisia from Libya.

On Tuesday, Tunisian forces carried out a counter-terrorism operation on the border between the central provinces of Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid, killing four militants and seizing a large haul of weapons, ammunitions, detonators and a home-made grenade.

Dozens of police officers and soldiers have been killed since instability struck the country after the 2011 revolution.

More recently, Islamic State group (IS) militants infiltrated the country and conducted deadly attacks on the national museum and a popular tourist resort, killing dozens.

In an attempt stem the flow of militants, Tunisian authorities have built a 125-mile barrier along its border with Libya, where a US-led air campaign is bombing IS positions.

UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon on Monday said that his country would send troops to Tunisia to help secure its borders with Libya.

"A training team of some 20 troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade is now moving to Tunisia to help counter illegal cross-border movement from Libya in support of the Tunisian authorities," he said.

Agencies contributed to this report