Tunisia's defense ministry says 10 militants have been killed in fighting along the border with Algeria.

Three soldiers were also killed in the fighting in the mountainous Kasserine region, and seven others wounded, ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati said.

The fighting began Wednesday when Islamic extremists opened fire on a military patrol, killing one soldier.

The violence took place near Mount Chaambi, a stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Oqba ibn Nafaa group that has carried out numerous attacks on soldiers and police in the region.