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Tunisia arrests 11 after deadly border attack
Tunisian security official claims eleven 'bearded' suspects have been arrested for attack which resulted in death of policeman near Algerian border earlier this week
AFP , Wednesday 12 Dec 2012
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Tunisian security forces hunting gunmen that killed a policeman near the Algerian border this week have arrested 11 suspects, a security official said on Wednesday.

"Eleven men, bearded ones, were captured, and another one is still on the run," the official told AFP, using the word "bearded" to designate Islamist militants.

On Monday, gunmen shot and killed Anis Jlassi, head of the police station in the western region of Kassarine and wounded four of his men.

Security forces had been hunting for the gunmen near Dernaya.

At the beginning of the operation, the security services said they were seeking five "bearded" men and that they had located their camp, where an item of Algerian origin and a Tunisian SIM card were discovered.

Earlier on Wednesday, a security official said Tunisian forces had lost track of the armed group.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry said security forces defused on Tuesday an explosive device that a man had left on a bus in Kairouan in central Tunisia. It did not provide any other details.

Clashes, strikes and attacks by hardline Islamists have multiplied across Tunisia in the run-up to the second anniversary of the start of Tunisia's revolution, which will be marked on Monday.

Members of Tunisia's militant Salafist movement, thought to number between 3,000 and 10,000, have been implicated in numerous acts of violence since last year's revolt.



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