Tunisia: Security Forces Thwarted ISIS Attempt to Seize Territory, Interior Ministry

The interior ministry announced Tuesday that security forces had foiled operations by some militants of the Islamic State group (ISIS) to seize the town of Ben Guerdane, at the Libyan border.

The ministry pointed out that the militants sought to attack police and military establishments in the Southern town with the aim of controlling the territory.

The latest plot sought to “take advantage of social unrest… to help Daesh elements infiltrate our country in order to carry out terrorist attacks and try to seize security and military buildings,” the ministry said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Five militants were arrested in connection with the attempt, the ministry further noted.

ISIS militants assaulted the town last year in March in prepared attacks against security units. Authorities indicated then that the terrorist group sought to establish an emirate.

Thirteen security forces were killed in the days-long counterattack to retake the town and fifty-five militants were reported killed.

Tunisia, hailed for its peace and sound development, descended into insecurity following the 2011 revolution, which ousted autocratic ruler Ben Ali.

Extremism has become rampant leading to three major attacks in 2015, which resulted in the death of 72 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Authorities are also facing the return of jihadists who left the country to fight in ISIS ranks in Libya, Iraq and Syria. According to a UN report, over 3,000 Tunisians joined terrorist groups in hotbed conflict zones.

 

 

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