Nine alleged terrorists killed, explosives confiscated near Tunis
Government forces killed nine "terrorists" and confiscated two tons of explosives in Tunisia Saturday, according to AFP.
The Tunisian government released a report saying that the suspected terrorists were captured and killed in the Mount Taouyer area of the Beja region west of the capital. A government spokesman further commented that one of the terrorists captured is part of a jihadist cell accused of killing a Tunisian policeman last Thursday.
The announcement did not provide any further details about the explosives and the Ministry of Defense, who released the statement, was not available for comment at the time of the AFP report release.
Previously, the Ministry of Defense has stated that it lacks the resources "to combat [and contain] militant groups." Approximately fifteen Tunisian soldiers and police working on Al-Qaeda-related investigations within the North African country have been killed since December.
Saturday's operation was the first of its kind conducted near the capital. Previously, government authorities have focused on tracking militants near the Algerian border.
Saturday's operation was predecessed by security authority protests on Friday that forced Prime Minister Ali Larayedh and President Moncef Marzouki from attending a memorial service for the killed policeman from Thursday.
Tunisia has seen a rise in attacks by jihadist groups since the 2011 uprisings that ousted former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. At the same time, the July assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi allegedly at the hands of jihadists, has sparked political turmoil in the North African country between the ruling Islamist-led government and opposition groups.
The Islamist Ennahda party and the opposition are supposed to commence long-awaited national dialogue talks Wednesday in an effort to resolve the political crisis that has gripped the country since Brahmi's death.