Tunisian police kill two Islamist militants in clashes

By REUTERS
October 18, 2013 14:12

TUNIS - Tunisian police killed two Islamist militants and arrested others from the hardline group Ansar al-Sharia after two policemen were killed in fighting near the Algerian border, a senior security source said on Friday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said the clashes had occurred on Thursday in the northeastern city of Goubellat.

Ansar al-Sharia is the most radical Islamist group to emerge in Tunisia since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired Arab revolts elsewhere.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jedou told state television the gunmen who had been killed or arrested were linked to Ansar al-Sharia, which authorities say is affiliated with al-Qaida's North African wing.

Tunisia's government, led by moderate Islamist party Ennahda in coalition with two smaller secular parties, is under pressure to tackle security threats from Islamist militants to help safeguard the North African country's democratic transition.


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