Tunisian jet attacks arms smugglers near Libyan border

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A rebel makes the victory sign in August 24 2011Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Arms taken during the Libyan uprising have found their way on to the black market

Tunisian military jets have attacked three vehicles loaded with weapons driving near the Libyan border.

The incident happened in a remote part of the Sahara desert where the borders of Libya, Tunisia and Algeria meet.

Reports suggest the cars were travelling from Libya to Algeria.

State media initially reported that all three vehicles were destroyed, but the Associated Press quoted an unnamed security official as saying one car had escaped into Algeria.

The two military planes were apparently on a routine flight and fired on the vehicles after being attacked.

Arms trafficking has exploded in the region since the fall of autocratic leaders in Libya and Tunisia last year.

Military hardware and small arms looted from the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's stockpiles have found their way on to the black market and are often trafficked through hard-to-police desert areas.

There have been several other clashes between Tunisian security forces and armed smugglers crossing the border from Libya and Algeria over the last year.