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Several soldiers killed in Tunisia barracks shooting

Several Tunisian soldiers have been killed after one of their colleagues opened fire at an army barracks in the capital, Tunis. The Defense Ministry has described it as an "isolated incident."

Tunisian Defense Ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati told a news conference in Tunis, that in addition to the seven soldiers were killed, 10 others were wounded in the rampage. Of these, one was in a serious condition.

"He attacked one man with a knife and took his gun before shooting at his comrades who were saluting the flag," Oueslati said.

"He had family and psychological problems" and because of this had been "forbidden from carrying arms" and given "non-sensitive duties," the ministry spokesman said, before describing it as an "isolated" incident.

"Investigations will show whether this was a terrorist act or not," Oueslati added, despite having previously ruled out the possibility of terror being a motive.

Tensions remain high in Tunis just over two months after the attack on the nearby National Bardo Museum which killed 22 people, mainly foreign tourists.

Since long-time strongman President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, Tunisia has been battling militant groups with links to "Islamic State" and al Qaeda, which have claimed attacks on the country's security forces.

pfd/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)

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