Two children killed in Tunisia landmine blast

Two children killed in Tunisia landmine blast
A landmine blast killed two children in Tunisia on Thursday, authorities said.
2 min read
The children died in a blast caused by a landmine [File Photo: Getty]
Two children were killed and a woman wounded in a landmine blast in a mountainous region of western Tunisia known as a base for jihadists, the government said on Thursday.

The explosion occurred on Mount Salloum, in a military zone in the marginalised region of Kasserine that borders Algeria.

The casualties were rushed to hospital where the children died soon after their arrival, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The Kasserine region is considered a hideout for Okba Ibn Nafaa, the Tunisian branch of jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The Tunisian army has been battling militants in the region since 2012.

Civilians are banned from entering the area which has been classified as a military zone since 2014, but some still go there, including to graze their livestock.

Read also: Tunisia slashes 30-year jail terms for pot-smoking trio

Last month, a landmine blast killed four Tunisian soldiers during a counter-terrorism operation on nearby Mount Mhgila.

"Four soldiers who were part of a military unit tasked with carrying out a combing operation of Mount Mghila looking for terrorist elements were killed by a mine," ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri told AFP.

The sweep was "part of the regular anti-terrorist operations carried out by military forces in the region," Zekri added.

Tunisia has seen a surge in radical Islam since veteran president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in the country's 2011 revolution.

Dozens of members of the security forces have been killed since in jihadist attacks.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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