Three Tunisian soldiers killed, 12 injured in attack

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Three Tunisian soldiers were killed and 12 others were injured in an attack by suspected militants on Wednesday on a bus carrying soldiers in northwest Tunisia, the Defense Ministry said.

"Terrorists attacked a bus carrying military personnel … three soldiers were killed and others were wounded in the attack in Kef city," ministry spokesman Belhassan Ouselati said after the incident.

The attack occurred in the region of Nebeur, between the towns of Kef and Jendouba, close to the border with Algeria, he said.

"This was a terrorist operation," he added, without providing details on the identity of the alleged attackers.

Security forces have engaged in a crackdown on militant groups close to the border with Algeria since the end of 2012.

The authorities have voiced fears that extremists might try to disrupt landmark elections.

The country is preparing for presidential polls on November 23 – the first time Tunisians freely elect their head of state – following a key parliamentary election last month.

Last month, a couple of days before the parliamentary election, Tunisian security forces killed six people, five of them women, after a standoff with an Islamist militant group.

The confrontation at a home near Tunis erupted as security was tightened in the lead-up to the parliamentary vote, the first since the nation's 2011 revolution.

Since the uprising that ousted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Tunisia has seen a proliferation of extremists suppressed under the former autocratic president and the emergence of militant groups.

These groups have been blamed for a wave of attacks, including dozens of Tunisian soldiers and police and the assassination last year of two opposition lawmakers whose murders plunged the country into a protracted political crisis.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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