TUNIS, Tunisia (AFP) – A national guard officer and three suspected jihadist militants were killed in a gunbattle in northwest Tunisia on Monday, September 2, his force said.
“Terrorists are still around but Tunisia is stronger,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said, paying tribute to the officer killed on the opening day of Tunisia’s presidential campaign in which he is a candidate.
National guard spokesperson Houssemeddine Jebabli said the 28-year-old officer was killed during a joint search operation with the army in the mountainous Kasserine region near the Algerian border.
“The three fighters eliminated have not yet been identified,” he said, but jihadists linked to the Islamist State group and al-Qaeda have hideouts in the border region.
On June 27, twin suicide bombings rocked the Tunisian capital, killing a policeman and a civilian.
Tunisia has remained under a state of emergency since deadly 2015 attacks on foreign holidaymakers and security personnel that dealt a serious blow to the country’s vital tourism industry.