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British troops were tonight directing Tunisian forces in a four-day battle against Islamic State .
Some 35 out of the 100 IS attackers have died in their siege of Ben Guerdane on the Libyan border.
The Tunisians are being advised by 15 armed UK special forces soldiers, in civilian clothes.
They were deployed to Tunisia last year, at its government’s request, after 30 Britons were killed in the holiday resort of Sousse by IS sympathiser Seifeddine Rezgui.
The special forces experts are advising Tunisian military commanders in planning and tactical measures to counter IS attacks.
A senior military source said: “There are spikes of insurgent activity all across North Africa. The challenge is being in the right place.
“We cannot go in on the offensive, we are deployed to train and advise.
"If, and only if, UK nationals are taken hostage, will we step up our role, or if a regional government asks.”
IS fighter drove across the desert in pick-up trucks to launch its fierce attack against the town on Wednesday.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on special forces activities.”
The battle was still raging tonight, with an estimated 35 militants killed and tanks still on the streets of Ben Guerdane, according to the Tunisian government.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “We are unable to comment on special forces activities.”
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عدد المساهمات : 5045
نقاط : 14116
تاريخ التسجيل : 08/04/2011
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