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AQIM defectors raise fears of IS branch in North Africa

A senior leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, leading some to speculate that an IS branch is in the making in North Africa.
Tunisian soldiers gather near the border with Algeria around Mount Chaambi, western Tunisia August 2, 2013. Tunisian troops exchanged fire with militants near the Algerian border on Thursday, security sources said, three days after gunmen killed eight soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks in decades on the country's security forces. Soldiers had been doing security sweeps since Monday in Mount Chaambi, a remote area where the army has been trying to track down Islamist militants since last December. REUT
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ALGIERS, Algeria — In coordination with Western security agencies, Tunisia and Algeria are leading operations to trace jihadists from Algeria, Tunisia and Libya as they move to declare an Islamic State (IS) emirate in North Africa.

Algerian security sources told Al-Monitor that the operations began to take shape as in mid-August, dozens of jihadists who had defected from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were observed in southeastern Algeria, near the southern border of Tunisia and not far from the northwest of Libya.

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