AK 47 Kalashnikov rifle (illustration)
AK 47 Kalashnikov rifle (illustration)Flash 90

Tunisian troops have captured a large arms cache including Kalashnikov rifles, grenades and explosives, a security source said on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.

The discovery of the arms cache comes as the government struggles to keep track of jihadists after a bloody attack last month.

Last month gunmen stormed the national Bardo museum in the capital Tunis, killing 21 foreign tourists in the deadliest terrorist attack in more than a decade, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.

"Special troops arrested on Thursday a dangerous terrorist in possession of a Kalashnikov and an explosive belt in Sidi Bouzid," a security source said, without giving details, Reuters reported.

After this special forces found an arms cache in the central town of Sidi Bouzid including Kalashnikovs, grenades and explosives, he added.

Tunisia has launched a campaign against hardline Islamist groups who emerged after a 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, which was seen as the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring” protests.

The Islamist party Ennahda eventually won the first free election after the overthrow of Ben Ali, but was accused by the opposition of seeking to entrench itself in power, disregarding the interests of a large secular urban population and being lenient toward radical Islamists.

Tunisia was roiled by social unrest and political crises during Ennahda’s time in power, but things really got out of hand after two secular opposition leaders were assassinated by Islamists. Ennahda was eventually forced to step down from power.

After last month’s Bardo attack, Tunisian police arrested dozens of jihadists and killed terrorists including senior Algerian terrorist Lokman Abou Sakhr.

Last month, Tunisia seized two large arms caches, including Kalashnikovs, rockets and landmines, in the southern city of Ben Guerdan near the Libyan border, noted Reuters.

Tunisia is worried that violence will spill over from neighboring Libya, where Islamic State has expanded, exploiting widespread turmoil as two rival governments battle for control.