Tunisia Security Forces Kill 10 ISIS-Linked Militants

Tunisia Security Forces Kill 10 ISIS-Linked Militants
Wed Mar 9, 2016 21:33:33

Tunisian security forces have killed at least ten militants suspected of having links to the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group near the Libyan border.

The interior and defense ministries of Tunisia said the military conducted a series of raids late Tuesday into the early hours of Wednesday near the border town of Ben Guerdane.

A Tunisian soldier was also killed during a fresh anti-militant offensive in the border region.

Tunisian authorities say government forces backed by helicopters launched a massive operation to track down armed attackers who have fled and are thought to be holed up in uninhabited houses in the region.

On March 7, seven civilians, 12 members of security forces and three dozen attackers were killed in an attack in the same border area. The violence prompted the two Tunisian ministers to take action on overseeing the operation.

Prime Minister Hassid Essid has said the attack was an attempt by ISIS to carve out a stronghold on the border region.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the assault but two ISIS-affiliated websites said the terrorist group’s militants were engaged in the fighting.

Tunisian authorities have closed two border crossings with Libya. They have also sealed off the nearby beach resort town of Djerba, a popular destination for tourists, and imposed a night curfew in the town.

The relative calm in Tunisia has been punctured by growing instability in Libya, which has been in chaos since former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was toppled and later killed in 2011.

Tunisian forces have repeatedly clashed with Takfiri militants on the borders of Libya and Algeria over the past few years, but the March 7 fighting was unusually bloody.

In November 2015, a bomb attack by ISIS on a bus carrying presidential guards left 12 people dead in the capital city of Tunis. In June the same year, an assailant armed with a rifle killed 38 people, mostly foreign tourists, on a beach in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.

The attack came more than a month after two militants stormed the Bardo Museum in the capital and shot dead 21 people, mainly foreign tourists.

S/SH 11

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