Tunis - Tunisian security forces were on Thursday hunting
two armed jihadist groups near the Algerian border, one in the Mount Chaambi
region and the other in Kef further north, the interior ministry said.
"There are two groups, one of about 15 to 20 people in
Mount Chaambi... Another group is in the Kef region near the Algerian
border," ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP.
A security said on Wednesday that troops clashed with around
50 armed jihadists in the remote Mount Chaambi border region, with the group
comprising both Tunisians and Algerians.
A defence ministry source was unable to give more details
about those targeted in the operation, or about the second group in the Kef
region, around 100km to the north.
"I have no idea about their number. The Chaambi region
is huge. We are in the process of trying to track them down. For the moment no
one has been arrested," Colonel Mokhtar Ben Naceur told AFP.
Since Monday, Tunisian forces have been hunting for the
group holed up in the mountainous western region who the authorities have
described only as "terrorists."
In the ongoing operation to flush them out, around 10
soldiers and members of the national guard have already been wounded, some
seriously, by homemade landmines laid by the gunmen in parts of the region.
Asked about possible co-operation with Algeria, the colonel
said that Tunisia's neighbour was assisting but only at the level of
"When there is concrete information, it is shared.
There is no joint action on the ground," he said.