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Fifth Tunisian soldier dies in bus shooting

Ten other soldiers were wounded when two gunmen sprayed bullets at the bus close to the border with Algeria

Published: Updated:

The death toll from a gun attack by suspected militants on soldiers traveling in a bus in northwestern Tunisia rose to five on Thursday, the defense ministry said.

The fifth victim "had severe wounds and died," spokesman Rachid Bouhoula told AFP.

Ten other soldiers were wounded when two gunmen sprayed bullets at the bus close to the border with Algeria, prompting troops to return fire, the authorities said.

The defense ministry branded the attack a "terrorist operation".

Dozens of police and military personnel have been killed in attacks by Islamist militants since a 2011 revolution in Tunisia that inspired the Arab Spring regional uprisings.

Security forces have cracked down on militant groups close to the border with Algeria.

The authorities have voiced fears that extremists might try to disrupt Tunisia's political transition, including a Nov. 23 presidential election.