Dozen dead as Tunisia army, jihadists clash

2015-04-24 17:03
Jebel Chaambi mountains in southwest Tunisia near the city of Kasserine. (Paul Schemm, AP, File)

Jebel Chaambi mountains in southwest Tunisia near the city of Kasserine. (Paul Schemm, AP, File)

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Tunis - Two Tunisian soldiers and 10 presumed jihadists have been killed in clashes in rugged terrain near the border with Algeria this week, the defence ministry said on Friday.

"Another two soldiers have been martyred and seven wounded in this army operation on Mount Salloum," spokesperson Belhassen Oueslati told AFP.

He said the soldiers were killed Thursday, and that 10 jihadists had died in clashes that were ongoing, without elaborating "in order to preserve the operation's secrecy".

An army corporal was killed Wednesday in the mountainous Kasserine region, which has been the site of regular clashes between militants and soldiers since the end of 2012.

Tunisia has seen an upsurge in Islamic extremism since long serving president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in a 2011 revolution.

Jihadist attacks since then that have claimed the lives of dozens of members of the security forces.

The bloodiest single attack was in July 2014, when jihadists killed 15 soldiers on Mount Chaambi, considered to be a main rear base of the militants, on the border with Algeria.

Read more on:    north africa

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