Tunisia: Armed militants attack security patrol in Kébili

Tunisia: Armed militants attack security patrol in Kébili

On the night between Saturday and Sunday March 12 around 1h40 local time in the area of Janoura on the outskirts of Kébili in Tunisia’s south, islamist militants armed with knives aboard two motorbikes equipped with improvised explosive devices (IED) attacked a security patrol numbering three security agents. The security agents opened fire and one of the assailants attempted to detonate a device but failed. The confrontation resulted in two dead and one wounded among the attackers, the wounded assailant was arrested and taken to hospital, a fourth assailant managed to escape. Reports indicate that the assailants originate from El-Bechri, delegation Souk Lahad in the Kébili Governorate. In the ranks of the security forces, one security officer was killed after being stabbed in the chest while another was wounded. Kébili is seeing a heavy security presence with the Tunisian Armed Forces, the National Guard and the Police deployed in the area conducting search and combing operations.

It is further reported that one of the assailants killed in the attack named Saber Hassine had served a three year prison sentence for belonging to a terrorist cell and attempting to join terrorist groups in Libya, although still under administrative control. Hassine visited the Security Center earlier on March 11 to report himself in, only hours before the attack. The assailant wounded in the attack identified as Badreddine Msaddek worked as an imam three years ago in a mosque out of state control in the area of Kébili.

Kébili has been relatively untouched by armed islamist militancy compared to the mountainous areas of Tunisia’s center and northwest, although the village of Negga experienced armed confrontations between armed islamist militants and security forces back in 2013. A large number of terrorist cells have also been dismantled in the region which harbor a significant base of ISIS-supporters, often expressing their radical sympathies during periods of social unrest.

Photos from the scene of the attack

Jamel Adel born 1989, one of the assailants killed in the attack

Saber Hassine born 1995, one of the assailants killed in the attack

 

Badreddine Msaddek born 1985, the assailant wounded in the attack who three years ago worked as an imam in a mosque out of state control in the area of Kébili

Materials seized during the follow-up investigation in the wake of the attack, including IED making materials and components, ammunition cartridges and knives

Footage from the scene of the attack