Terrorist attack in Tunisia kills six security forces
TUNIS - Six members of Tunisia's security forces were killed Sunday in a "terrorist attack" near the border with Algeria, the interior ministry said, updating an earlier toll.
A national guard border patrol in the Ain Sultan area of the Jendouba border province "was hit in a landmine ambush that killed six agents", the ministry said.
It said the attack took place at 11:45 am (1045 GMT).
Ministry spokesman General Soufian al-Zaaq said the blast was a "terrorist attack" and that assailants had "opened fire on security forces" after the mine exploded.
"Combing operations" were underway, said Zaaq, who earlier said that eight guards had been killed.
Other unconfirmed news reports have put the casualty toll at 9 killed and several others injured.
The attack, for which there was no immediate claim of responsibility, comes as Tunisia enters the summer tourist season.
Tourism is the source of 7 percent of Tunisia's Gross National Product.
This is the first major terrorist attack in Tunisia since 2015 when terrorists claiming affiliation with the Islamic State killed 59 foreign tourists in separate attacks in Tunis and Sousse.
The small Maghreb country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015 when a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by the Islamic State group killed 12 presidential guards.
On early Dawn Sunday, unknown assailants were also reported to have destroyed a Sufi Shrine in the bordertown of Sbiba in the province of Kasserine.
Tunisian radio and TV stations have interrupted their regular programming to broadcast patriotic songs.