Monday 24 July 2017

Policeman killed in south Tunisia ambush

Policeman killed in south Tunisia ambush
(AFP 03/13/17)

A police officer was killed and another wounded in a night-time ambush on a checkpoint in southern Tunisia, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Two suspected jihadists were killed and another seriously wounded in the incident near Kebili, 480 kilometres (300 miles) south of Tunis, in what the ministry described as a "terrorist attack".

The ambush by motorcycle-mounted gunmen occurred early Sunday on a police checkpoint, it said, adding that a fourth attacker fled the scene but was detained later.

"Home-made explosives" were found on the motorbikes, the ministry added.

Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub was among a large crowd of mourners who attended the policeman's funeral at Kebili on Sunday afternoon.

Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in jihadist attacks that have cost the lives of dozens of members of the security forces and also 59 foreign tourists.

A soldier was wounded when a mine exploded on Sunday in the Mount Sammama area of central-western Tunisia, a defence ministry spokesman said.

Mount Sammama is in a range of hills that are a favoured hideout of loyalists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

It is adjacent to Mount Chaambi, considered to be the main rear base of the jihadists near the border with Algeria.

The injured soldier was hospitalised, but his life was not in danger, the spokesman added.

Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group killed 12 presidential guards.

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