A Tunisian soldier was killed Monday on the country's southern border during a clash with smugglers trying to transfer vehicles from Libya to Algeria, the Tunisian defence ministry said.
"This afternoon, a military patrol operating in the militarised border area of Bourj al-Khadra responded to an attempted entry of six smuggled vehicles," the ministry said.
The vehicle occupants opened fire and the patrol responded, prompting the attackers to flee, with one soldier left dead and another wounded in the shootout, the ministry added.
Fuel, food products, electronic equipment and other products are smuggled across the border regions between Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, with smugglers taking advantage in particular of chaos in Libya since the 2011 fall of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.
© Agence France-Presse