- No less than six killed as police unit in the region of Jendouba was ambushed during a regular patrol
- A few militants operate in remote areas close to the border with Algeria
BY: Middle East Affairs
TUNIS: On Sunday, around six members of Tunisia’s security forces were killed in a “terrorist attack” close to the border with Algeria, the interior ministry said, the country’s deadliest such incident in over two years.
The interior ministry said that a national guard border patrol in the Ain Sultan area of the Jenduba border province “was hit in a land mine ambush that killed six agents” at 11:45 am (1045 GMT).
Sufyan Al-Zaq, the Ministry spokesman General said the blast was a “terrorist attack” and that assailants had “opened fire on security forces” after the mine exploded.“Combing operations” were underway, said Zaq, who had earlier told AFP that eight guards were killed in the assault.
No group has announced the attack, which took place in a mountainous border area where the Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion and the Tunisian branch of Daesh, Jund Al-Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), are dynamic.
Since a March 2016 attack on security installations in the town of Ben Guerdane on the Libyan border, Sunday’s assault marks the first major attack in Tunisia. That attack killed 13 security forces and seven regular citizens.
The most recent episode comes as Tunisia is targeting its best traveler season since guest numbers dove in the wake of a string of fatal fear based oppressor assaults in 2015.
Tunisia’s tourism industry was crushed by those assaults, which included one at the National Bardo exhibition hall in Tunis and another focusing on a shoreline resort in Sousse that together executed 59 outside sightseers and a Tunisian protect. In May, Tourism Minister Selma Elloumi Rekik said the industry had made a “real recovery.”
She added: “Individuals are returning to Tunisia on the grounds that there is security … we are at a similar level (of security) as any European city.” Since the 2011 uprising that toppled tyrant Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, fear monger assaults in Tunisia have murdered many individuals from the security powers and foreign tourists.
Since Ben Ali’s fall, “No less than 127 militants and 118 soldiers, national guardsmen, and police officers have been killed in the northwest,” according to figures compiled by analyst Matt Herbert and published in June by the Carnegie Endownment for International Peace.
He told AFP on Sunday: “This new attack shows that there are still pockets where security problems have not been solved,” while stressing “the vast majority of Tunisia stays safe.”
Since November 2015, the country has been under a state of emergency, when a Daesh-claimed suicide bombarding in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.