Algeria army boosts forces on Tunisia border: minister

Published August 01, 2013

| AFP

Algeria's army has reinforced its forces along the eastern border with Tunisia, Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said on Thursday, days after the killing of eight Tunisian soldiers.

The soldiers were found on Monday with their throats cut after being ambushed by jihadist militants in Mount Chaambi, an area near the border with Algeria.

Algeria's army "reinforced its resources and capabilities on the eastern border of the country because of the troubles that Tunisia is going through," Kablia told the national news agency APS.

Tunisian armed forces have intensified their hunt for an armed group in the Mount Chaambi area since the spring, after several members of the security forces were killed or wounded by explosive devices.

Algiers has said it strongly condemns "the base act of terrorism that resulted in several deaths among the Tunisian armed forces."

Islamist militant groups in Algeria remain active decades after a bloody civil war in the 1990s that killed some 200,000 people, leading some in Tunisia to suggest connections with the group in Mount Chaambi.

Algeria's foreign ministry said on Thursday it condemned the "false allegations" against Algeria from "certain circles in Tunisia."

In a statement published by APS, ministry spokesman Amar Belani decried the allegations as a move to "deceive the Tunisian people as they are mobilising to unite against terrorism."

Interior Minister Kablia said there had been an "exchange of security information between Algeria and its neighbours to fight the various scourges that threaten the security and stability of the region."

Exchanges of visits by senior officials from Tunisia, Libya and Algeria have led to closer cross-border cooperation.

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