Militants attack Tunisian customs officers near Algerian border, one killed


Islamist militant gunmen opened fire on a Tunisian customs team near the Algerian border, killing one customs agent and wounding three more, the government said on Monday. The attack on a customs vehicle late on Sunday was in a remote mountain area near Bouchbka, in central Kasserine province, where Islamist militants belonging to Okba Ibn Nafaa, an al Qaeda-linked group, have often attacked police, army and local officials.

“Terrorists attacked the customs vehicle in Bouchbka near the Algerian border. One agent was killed and three others wounded, including two critically,” said Finance Minister Slim Chaker, whose office controls tax authority.

The government said in July it had mostly wiped out the Okba Ibn Nafaa group in a crackdown that followed two attacks on the country’s tourism industry this year.

Okba Ibn Nafaa, allied with al Qaeda’s north African wing, was among the most active of hardline groups that emerged after Tunisia’s 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.