TUNIS (Reuters) - Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a checkpoint in central Tunisia that killed three policemen, according to a statement carried on a jihadi social media account used by the group.
The policemen were killed in clashes in Sidi Bouzid during an attack on Monday in which militants tried to kidnap eight people and opened fire on a military helicopter before one was shot and the other wounded and captured.
"The attack was carried out by two soldiers of the caliphate who attacked two military sites with small arms," the statement said.
The ultra-hardline Islamic State has declared a caliphate in large parts of Iraq and Syria that its insurgents control and is also active in Tunisia's chaotic neighbour Libya.
Islamic State made some claims to the Bardo Museum attack in Tunis in March where gunmen killed a group of foreign tourists.
But Tunisian security sources have said dissident members of Okba Ibn Nafaa, a group of al Qaeda-affiliated fighters operating in the Chaambi mountains along the Algerian border, may have carried out the Bardo operation.
Part of Islamic State's success in the Middle East and North Africa has been drawing fighters from other domestic militant groups. Analysts say some militants may also carry out attacks in Islamic State's name without any real ties to IS commanders.
(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Mark Heinrich)