Two Tunisian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near the border with Algeria on Thursday, a military source was reported saying.
“At around 7:45 am (0645 GMT), two soldiers were killed and two others wounded when a device exploded as their vehicle passed by in the area of Doghra of Mount Chaambi,” spokesman Mokhtar Ben Nasr told AFP.
Mount Chaambi is in rugged area close to the border with Algeria where the Tunisian military has been hunting Qaeda-linked militants since December.
In May, Tunisian security forces were on the hunt for two armed jihadist groups in the same area.
“There are two groups, one of about 15 to 20 people in Mount Chaambi... Another group is in the Kef region near the Algerian border,” ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP.
Since the mass uprising that toppled Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, radical Islamists suppressed by the former dictator have become increasingly assertive and been blamed for a wave of deadly attacks across the country, AFP said.
Members of the armed forces involved in the search have told media that the Mount Chaambi group is well-armed and organized, with some saying veteran Islamist militants who fought in northern Mali are among them, according to AFP.