Tunisia forces kill three jihadists in ongoing security sweep

Friday 29/01/2016
Security concerns remain in Tunisia

TUNIS - Tunisian forces have killed three suspected jihadists during an ongoing security sweep in the Gabes region in which one of their men was wounded, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

It said the operation in the rugged mountainous Tounine area some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the coastal town of Gabes began after the authorities were alerted to the presence of a "terrorist group".

Two militants were killed on Monday in an exchange of fire in which a member of the National Guard gendarmerie was also wounded.

On Tuesday morning, a specialised unit entered a cave where a third suspected jihadist had taken refuge. He was killed in another exchange of fire.

Guns and ammunition were seized during the ongoing operation, the ministry added.

There was no immediate information about the identities of those killed or what group they may have belonged to.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of police and soldiers since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Last year alone, the Islamic State group claimed attacks on the national museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel, killing a total of 59 tourists, and the suicide bombing of a bus that killed 12 presidential guards.

The attacks further damaged the tourism-reliant economy of the North African nation, which has still to recover since the revolution five years ago.