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Tunisia army battling 'terrorists' near Algeria: military source

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Tunisian army stand guard near a demolished vehicle following a roadside bomb in the mountainous border region near Algeria on June 6, 2013. The Tunisian army launched an offensive early Friday against a group of "terrorists" near the Algerian border, where eight Tunisian soldiers were killed earlier this week, a military source told AFP.AFP/File

The Tunisian army launched an offensive early Friday against a group of "terrorists" near the Algerian border, where eight Tunisian soldiers were killed earlier this week, a military source told AFP.

"The fighting is in progress, the terrorist group is surrounded," the source said.

The source said the attack took place 16 kilometres (10 miles) from Kasserine, near Mount Chaambi, where eight Tunisian soldiers were found on Monday with their throats cut after being ambushed by jihadist militants.

This prompted Algeria's army to reinforce its presence along the border with Tunisia, Interior Minister Daho Ould Kabila said on Thursday.

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

Tunisian troops 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.