Tunisian police kill three militants thought to be affiliated with al Qaeda
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is a growing threat in Tunisia. (AFP/File)
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At least three al-Qaeda supporters have been killed during a police operation in Tunisia’s northwestern region of Jendouba near the border with Algeria, the Interior Ministry says.
Police forces shot and killed three militants and arrested six others when they raided a house in northwest Jendouba on Monday, Tunisian Interior Ministry spokesman, Ali Aroui, said during a news conference in the capital Tunis.
“Our special forces killed three terrorists including two Tunisians and another, who is likely an Algerian, and arrested six others linked to this group,” Aroui noted.
The police operation comes a month after gunmen disguised as police killed several officers and a civilian during an attack in the same region.
The mountainous area shared with Algeria has been a safe haven for the al-Qaeda-linked militants.
In a separate operation, authorities exchanged fire with militants at a checkpoint in the town of Sidi Bouzid, just south of Tunis.
The country’s new caretaker government has faced challenges as rampant militant violence continues to plague the country since the 2011 revolution.
The situation worsened after the assassination of opposition figures Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi in February and July last year.
Tunisia, the birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East, has been struggling to move toward stability and democracy since the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.