Tunisian special forces take position during clashes with militants in the southern town of Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, on March 7, 2016. AFP / FATHI NASRI
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Exceptionally deadly clashes between Tunisian forces and extremist attackers left at least 53 people dead Monday near Tunisia's border with Libya, the government said, amid growing fear that violence from Libya could destabilize the whole region.Tunisia closed its border with Libya and the Tunisian interior, and defense ministers traveled to the town to oversee the operation, according to a joint statement from their ministries.The attack left 35 "terrorists," seven civilians and 11 members of Tunisia's security forces dead, according to the joint government statement.Last week, Tunisian security forces killed five heavily armed men in an hourslong firefight after they crossed into the country from Libya with a larger group. Tunisian security forces had been placed on alert based on "precise information" of possible border infiltrations following a Feb. 19 U.S. raid on a Daesh camp near the Libyan town of Sabratha, not far from the Tunisian border, the statement said.
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