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Tunisia Arrests Members of ISIS-Affiliated Terror Cell

Tunisia Arrests Members of ISIS-Affiliated Terror Cell

Friday, 12 April, 2019 - 10:15
Tunisian soldiers standing guard at the border crossing at Ras Jdir in Ben Guerdane. (Reuters)
Tunis - Al-Mongi al-Souaidani
Tunisian anti-terrorist security units busted an ISIS-affiliated terrorist cell in the southeastern Medenine region, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sufian al-Zaaq.

The ten-member cell was planning to attack security headquarters and government facilities, Zaaq explained, adding that it was in contact with serious and dangerous Tunisian terrorist elements residing in neighboring Libya.

They were charged with providing financial assistance to families of the terrorists, who were killed in armed confrontations in Tunisia and abroad.

Sources said that these terrorists are part of a larger ISIS-affiliated cell, whose members have been hiding in Tunisia’s western mountains.

On March 7, 2016, the town of Ben Guerdane was attacked by terrorists, who had received military training in neighboring Libya. They sought to establish an ISIS “emirate” in the city to extend the group’s control over other Tunisian cities.

After days of armed clashes with authorities, military and security forces killed some 55 terrorists. Around 20 people, including civilians and members of the military and security forces, were also killed.

The terrorist plot was foiled and it later became known as the Ben Guerdane “epic battle”.

Separately, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri said a military unit opened fire on Wednesday evening at suspected terrorists after detecting “suspicious movements” in the western heights of El Kef.

After searching the location, forces found a Kalashnikov and ammunition that were left behind by the terrorists before fleeing. They also found a backpack containing various materials and clothes.

Zekri said this operation was part of ongoing efforts to crack down on terrorists that have sought refuge in the country’s western region.

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