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Tunisian police kill 3 militants in shootout

March 17, 2014

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian counter-terrorism forces killed three armed militants early Monday after surrounding their home in a clash which lasted several hours, the state news agency reported.

The siege took place in the northwest region of Jendouba, not far from the Algerian border, which has been the scene of previous confrontations with militants.

While Tunisia has been moving forward with its transition to democracy after overthrowing its secular dictator in 2011, there have been repeated clashes with armed militants affiliated with radical Islam.

On Feb. 16 in the same region, militants set up a fake checkpoint on a highway in the early hours of the morning and killed three members of the National Guard and a civilian.

The Interior Ministry also reported early Monday that two militants in a vehicle exchanged fire with the National Guard, wounding two before escaping in the southern town of Sidi Bouzid.

Armed militants have set up several hideouts in the mountainous terrain along the Tunisian-Algerian border, particularly in the Jebel Chaambi mountain near the city of Kasserine where several soldiers have been killed over the last year.

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