Tunisia: Multiple arms caches discovered in Ben Guerdane

Tunisia: Multiple arms caches discovered in Ben Guerdane

In the past days beginning on Saturday November 12, Tunisian security forces have found four arms and ammunition caches in Ben Guerdane and surroundings, the caches were found in Oued Rbaïa, Oglet Chareb El Radjel, Ourasnia and the Jalel district. Some of the caches were as previous findings in the area buried in the ground with the objects put into plastic barrels and with one of the caches being a constructed compartment. These latest findings are according to authorities directly linked to the killing of Talel Saïdi at Mount Salloum on November 8, the alleged ’emir’ or leader of Jund al-Khilafah, a Tunisian affiliate of the so-called Islamic State based in the mountains of Kasserine with its main area of operations at Mount Mghila. According to the reports did Saïdi’s mobile phone contain information on the locations of the caches found and supposedly more game of thrones season 7 episodes online than those found so far. It is clear that the arms caches are linked to the Tunisian Islamic State branch, with similar findings made amidst the attack of March 7 when ISIS cells in Ben Guerdane and others crossing the border from Libya carried out a large-scale attack on the town in an attempt to establish a “zone of influence”, an attempt that failed after security forces managed to take control of the situation and eliminate a significant number of terrorists, the security forces also had strong support by the local population during the events.

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Photo of Talel Saïdi after being killed by security forces at Mount Salloum (Tunisian Ministry of National Defense)

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Plastic barrel filled with anti-vehicle mines dug out in Oglat Chareb El Radjel, located on the road linking Zarzis and Ben Guerdane (TNN -Tunisia News Network)

 

 

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Photo of the constructed compartment for storage of weapons and ammunition in the Jalel district of Ben Guerdane (Nessma)

 

In addition to the caches found were several arrests made in connection to the discoveries, on November 14, the Tunisian Ministry of Interior published a list of the arms and ammunition found in the third cache found in Ourasnia. An especially interesting finding on the list, although no visuals provided, thus deserving some caution, are the alleged discovery of SAM-7 systems (surface-to-air missiles) including two launchers and twentyfour missiles.

List of the items seized as following:

24 missiles of type “SAM-7”

2 “SAM-7” launchers

3 RPG launchers

52 RPG rockets/grenades

27 assault rifles of type Kalashnikov

12 assault rifles of type FN FAL

10 squad automatic weapons of type FALO

60 magazines for Kalashnikov

6 magazines for FN FAL

2 handgrenades

1 ammunition belt for PK machine gun

1 ammunition belt for FALO

1234 electric detonators

1 smaller (unspecified) rocket

30 boxes of 7.62mm caliber ammunition

2 PK light machine guns

89 explosive tubes (IEDs)

4 mechanical detonators

2 boxes of TNT

12 kilograms of explosives and a significant amount of ammunition cartridges