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WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
04:03 PM Beirut time
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Tunisian militant landmine blast kills soldier
Reuters
A picture taken on June 11, 2013 shows Tunisian soldiers patroling in the Mount Chaambi region where the Tunisian army has been tracking militants the government says are veterans of the Islamist rebellion in northern Mali with links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. AFP PHOTO/ABDERRAZEK KHLIFI
A picture taken on June 11, 2013 shows Tunisian soldiers patroling in the Mount Chaambi region where the Tunisian army has been tracking militants the government says are veterans of the Islamist rebellion in northern Mali with links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. AFP PHOTO/ABDERRAZEK KHLIFI
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TUNIS: A Tunisian soldier was killed and another wounded in a landmine explosion near the Algerian border where security forces are pursuing Islamist militants, the army said on Monday.

Tunisia, which was long one of the most secular states in the Arab world, has been struggling to contain hardline Islamists who have become more active since the overthrow of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

Several blasts from improvised mines have hit the remote area of Mount Chaambi, southwest of the capital Tunis, the focus of a hunt for Islamist militants since the government began a campaign earlier this year.

"One soldier was killed and another wounded in the blast," army spokesman Taoufik Rahmouni said.

Tunisian forces have been bombarding the mountains where militants have been holed up since a French offensive in nearby Mali. Eight soldiers were killed in Chaambi in July, some of whom had their throats slashed.

Ansar al-Sharia is the most radical Islamist group to emerge and challenge the authority of Tunisia's moderate Islamist-led government, which earlier this year declared the organisation a terrorist group.

 
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