2 Deaths Following the Tunisian Forces Clashing with Extremists Near the Algerian...

2 Deaths Following the Tunisian Forces Clashing with Extremists Near the Algerian Border

Photo Courtesy: Our Partners at The Tunis Times.
Image from Our Partners at The Tunis Times.

Tunisian police killed two extremist militants in clashes near the Algerian border, the interior and defense ministries said on Wednesday, after Tunis raised the security alert level before elections next month.

Since April, thousands of troops have been deployed in Tunisia’s mountainous Chaambi region on the border with Algeria, where extremist fighters – some of them linked to Al-Qaeda – have taken refuge, Reuters reported.

“Security and army forces killed two terrorists in the Mezrgue Chams area of Kasserine city. One of them was likely an Algerian,” the defense and interior ministries said in a joint statement.

Security forces seized several weapons, including two Kalashnikov assault rifles and two hand grenades, the statement added.

Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said on Tuesday that Tunisian security forces were heightening security across the North African country with special focus in border areas monitoring arms smuggling and terrorist groups.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jedou last month warned of a militant threat to disrupt the elections and derail the country’s democratic progress.

Since its 2011 uprising, Tunisia has advanced toward full democracy and is seen as a model for the region. Tunisia holds its first full parliamentary elections on Oct 26 after adopting a new constitution this year.

At least 15 soldiers were killed in attacks on checkpoints in the border area in July. A deputy in Tunisia’s transitional parliament survived an assassination attempt in Kasserine on Sept 1.