Mine blast kills four soldiers in central Tunisia

Tunisian soldiers patrol a residential area west of Tunis, October 23, 2014. (File photo by Reuters)

Four Tunisian soldiers have been killed in a landmine explosion while patrolling a mountainous central region.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri told AFP on Wednesday that the soldiers were part of a military unit tasked with carrying out a combing operation of Mount Mghila “looking for terrorist elements.”

The sweep, he said, was “part of the regular anti-terrorist operations carried out by military forces in the region.”

Mount Mghila, near the Algerian border, lies next to Mount Chaambi, the hideout of Takfiri militants.

Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said Wednesday’s blast “will not stop us from pursuing our efforts to fight and defeat terrorism.”

Since 2011, Tunisia has been hit by a spate of militant attacks claimed by the Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

The bloodiest single attack against the military was carried out in July 2014, when 15 soldiers were killed on Mount Chaambi.

The overall security situation has improved in recent years, but Tunisian troops continue to be targeted.

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