Fresh clashes in Tunisia's Ben Guerdane

Fresh clashes in Tunisia’s Ben Guerdane area near the Libyan border left 10 jihadists and a soldier dead as thousands attended funerals Wednesday for victims of a major assault.
The assault, launched on Monday on army and police posts and blamed by authorities on the Islamic State group (ISIS), and ensuing unrest has left 46 jihadists, 13 members of security forces and seven civilians dead.
IS has taken advantage of Libya’s chaos to gain an important foothold in the country and there are fears of its influence spreading into neighbouring Tunisia.
After fighting off Monday’s fierce assault, Tunisian security forces have been hunting and clashing sporadically with jihadists in the area, where a night time curfew has been in effect since Monday.
Two “terrorists” and a soldier were killed on Wednesday when fighting erupted after jihadists tried to raid a building site in search of provisions, officials said. Another jihadist was shot dead while hiding in a house in the city.
Late on Tuesday security forces killed another seven jihadists hiding out in a house in the town of 60 000.
The defence ministry warned that those entering a designated buffer zone along the border without permission would be dealt with “firmly”.
Authorities would respond “with force against anyone” who does not co-operate, the ministry warned.
“This is to prevent terrorist threats that could target our country through attempts at infiltration,” it said.
There was a heavy security presence in Ben Guerdane and the border with Libya has remained closed since Monday.

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