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IS claims killing of four Tunisia soldiers, beheading

WION logo WION 19-02-2021 wionnewsweb@gmail.com (Wion Web Team)
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The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the February 3 killing of four soldiers in a rugged region of central Tunisia.

According to a report by the SITE Intelligence Group, the soldiers were killed in three blasts ignited by its fighters near Mount Mghila and a "spy" was beheaded separately by IS.

The defence ministry announced the losses the same day, saying the soldiers in "a military unit tasked with carrying out a combing operation of Mount Mghila looking for terrorist elements were killed by a mine" explosion.

Mount Mghila, near the border with Algeria, is adjacent to Mount Chaambi, which is considered a hideout for jihadists.

Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said the incident "will not stop us from pursuing our efforts to fight and defeat terrorism".

IS also said in its Al-Naba digital newspaper that jihadists executed a spy for the army on December 20 near Mount Selloum in the Kasserine region, also central Tunisia.

Authorities said at the time that the victim was a 20-year-old man named Oqba al-Dhibi, identified on local radio as a shepherd tending his flock when he was attacked.

Tunisia has seen a surge in radical Islam since veteran president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in the country's 2011 revolution.

Tunisia's central mountains are also a hideout for a local branch of jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the US monitor of jihadist groups says.

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