Tunisia: Sixteen terrorists arrested in Jendouba following search operations and clashes
Following information about suspicious movements in the mountains of Ghardimaou, locality Oued Mliz, were combined units of the army and the National Guard deployed to conduct search operations. Twelve terrorists were confronted by the security forces on the night between the 21 and 22 of February in the area of Oued Mliz, five managed to escape while seven in possession of guns and ammunition were arrested while being in the process to move towards Ouergech, in order to set up a camp in the Jendouba mountains. Initial reports claimed that they were heading in the direction of Jebel Ouergha to join other terrorists entrenched in the mountain range, a terrorist stronghold in the Kef governorate, not far from Oued Mliz.
Interrogations revealed that terrorists already present in the region assisted the terrorist cell by providing them with guns and ammunition and to enable them to set up a camp close to Tunisian-Algerian border. Reports state that a majority of the cell originated from Marsa, Bhar Lazreg and Gammarth, neighborhoods in Tunis northern upper class suburbs. After continued search operations in the delegation of Ghardimaou were also seven other terrorists arrested with an eight terrorist named as Hatem Mezrigui tracked down in the village of Doura, where he barricaded himself in a house belonging to an elderly man named Rabeh Ben Nsib Zdiri, information about his age varies from 65 to 72 years. Exchange of gunfire erupted when security units arrived to the scene and tried to arrest the terrorist who shot towards the National Guard officers who responded, the elderly man was fatally shot in the crossfire and died, while the terrorist was shot in the shoulder, arrested and transferred to Jendouba Regional Hospital, according to reports currently in a coma. Two guns and a quantity of ammunition were seized following the arrest. Another individual linked to the terrorist cell was arrested in central Ghardimaou, bringing the number of arrested up to a total of sixteen people.
The Tunisian Ministry of Interior released a statement on the events in Ghardimaou on February 22 at 9:00 PM local time