Militant killed, 8 arrested in Tunisia clashNovember 12, 2013 @ 6:38 am
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - Special forces units from Tunisia's National Guard killed a suspected militant and arrested eight others in an early morning operation Tuesday deep in the desert south of the country, the Interior Ministry announced.
Following a failed suicide bomb attack on a hotel late last month, security forces have been carrying out operations around the country seeking out terrorist groups.
Tunisia is struggling with a democratic transition after it kicked off the Arab Spring by overthrowing its dictator in 2011. Since then, there has been a rise in extremist Islamic groups with al-Qaida links.
The operation represents the first in the area of Kebili, deep in the southern deserts and the statement said security forces descended on a house where they fought with the "suspected terrorists."
Authorities seized five vehicles, 30 mobile phones, a grenade, computers and a truck that was to be rigged with explosives, the statement added.
Local press said the operation was to seek out Seifallah Ben Hassine the leader of the extremist Ansar al-Shariah movement who has links to al-Qaida and believed to have organized an assault on the U.S. embassy last year.
Past clashes with militants have been mostly further north, in the mountains along the Algerian border.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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