July 10, 2015 / 11:40 AM / in 3 years

Tunisian security forces kill five militants in mountain region: source

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian security forces have killed five Islamist militants in clashes in the mountains near the central town of Gafsa, and military helicopters were pursuing more in the area, a security source said on Friday.

Tunisian forces are on high alert after last month’s attack on a beach resort that killed 38 holidaymakers, most of them British, and the Bardo museum massacre by Islamist gunmen three months earlier.

“The operation is still ongoing in the Awled Omrane mountains,” the source said, adding that there had been no casualties among army special forces.

Local armed group Okba Ibn Nafaa, which is aligned to al Qaeda, has been fighting a low-level insurgency against Tunisian authorities near the Algerian border. But Islamic State militants have also claimed attacks in Tunisia.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing Patrick Markey; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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