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Tunisia pays tribute to security forces killed in terrorist attack

Al Qaida affiliate claims responsibility for the attack

Gulf News

TUNIS, July 9, 2018 (AFP) - Tunisia paid tribute on Monday to six members of its security forces killed the day before along the border with Algeria in the country’s bloodiest terrorist attack in more than two years.

The attack comes as Tunisia prepares for what it hopes will be a surge in tourism after a spate of terrorist attacks in 2015 sent visitor numbers plunging.

After the ceremony at the national guard base close to the capital, hundreds of people watched as several of the dead were laid to rest.

A large procession led by members of the armed forces accompanied the body of guardsman Arbi Guizeni through the Tunis suburb of Douar Hicher.

The six national guard members were killed, and three others wounded, when their cars were attacked Sunday morning with an improvised explosive device in the Ain Sultan area of the Jendouba border province.

The three wounded guards were transferred to a military hospital in Tunis and their condition was stable on Monday, said guard spokesman Colonel Houssemeddine Jebabli.

He said search operations launched Sunday were continuing but no arrests had been made.

Okba Bin Nafaa, a Tunisia-based division of Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), late on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had killed nine soldiers, according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors terrorist activity online.

Okba Bin Nafaa and the Tunisian branch of Daesh group, Jund Al Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), are active in the mountainous border region where the attack took place.

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