Senior Tunisian Al-Qaeda ally killed
Mourad Gharsalli, a 32-year-old Tunisian, was one of the leaders of the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades, the country's main militant group
A senior leader of an Al-Qaeda-militant group that has been blamed for a spate of violence in Tunisia was among five militants killed by security forces in a recent raid, an official said Saturday.
“The DNA test just confirmed that Mourad Gharsalli was shot dead yesterday (Friday),” presidential spokesman Moez Sinaoui wrote in a post on his Twitter account.
The interior ministry had previously said that five “terrorists” were gunned down on Friday in the central region of Gafsa.
Gharsalli, a 32-year-old Tunisian, was one of the leaders of the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades, the country's main militant group and one the authorities have accused of being behind several recent attacks.
Authorities have blamed the group for a series of attacks, including the March massacre at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis that killed 21 foreign tourists and a policeman. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has claimed that attack.
Tunisia has seen a surge in radical Islam since veteran president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in a 2011 revolution.
Dozens of members of the security forces have been killed since then in jihadist attacks.
- Tunisia says 127 arrests since militant beach massacre
- Tunisia’s ‘non-NATO ally’ status confirmed by U.S.
- Tunisia says five ‘terrorists’ killed
- Tunisia slams British tourist withdrawal plan
- UK advises British tourists to leave Tunisia
- Tunisia PM to ring Cameron over call for tourists to leave
- Homegrown militants with Libya ties target Tunisia’s democracy
- Tunisia's state of emergency must respect rights: HRW
- After Tunisia attack, sun-seekers switch to Spain, Bulgaria and Greece
- Tunisia beach gunman had worked in tourism, says PM