At least 53 people were killed in intense clashes between Tunisian forces and extremist attackers on Monday near the border between Tunisia and Libya. Among those killed were 35 militants, seven civilians, including a 12-year-old girl, and 11 members of Tunisian security forces, according to a joint statement from the Tunisian interior and defence ministries. The fighting in Ben Guerdane city began at dawn, when gunmen attacked a police station and military facilities, and continued past nightfall.
Prime Minister of Tunisia Hassid Essid said on local television that the Islamic State was behind the attack, and it was its attempt to establish a stronghold on the border. No group claimed responsibility, but two IS-affiliated websites said militants of the terror outfit were involved in the gunfight, the Associated Press reported. Tunisia closed its border with Libya after the clashes. IS presence in Libya has worried Tunisia, especially after they killed dozens of tourists in attacks in the country last year.