Monday, 16/12/2019 | 8:53 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Tunisia: Deadly clashes erupt in Ben Gardane near Libya

Raid on army barracks and national guards in Ben Gardane leaves 10 soldiers and seven civilians among 45 dead

At least 45 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and armed men in a Tunisian city near the border with Libya.

The Tunisian interior ministry said at least 28 attackers, 10 soldiers and seven civilians were killed in Monday's gun battle in Ben Gardane.

The attackers simultaneously targeted an army barracks and national guards with heavy weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades.

An ambulance was also stolen in the clashes.

While the situation has calmed down, authorities said a curfew will be implemented in the city on Monday evening.

"We have decided to impose a curfew in Ben Gardane on both vehicles and pedestrians ... starting from today [Monday] between 7pm [18:00 GMT] and 5am [04:00 GMT]," an interior ministry statement said.

A security and military campaign began last week in Ben Gardane, after Tunisian security officials said "terrorist groups" sneaked into the country.

Officials said the campaign followed raids in Libya against fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

Fighters trained in Libya carried out several attacks inside Tunisia last year.

Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri, reporting from Tunisia, said Ben Gardane is a strategically important town that is regarded as the "gateway to Libya". It serves as a hub for arms trafficking and smuggling of everyday goods.

Source: Al Jazeera