Tunisia 'destroys' local al-Qaeda-linked group

Interior Minister Najim Gharsalli says security forces have "broken the spine" of group behind museum attack in March.

    Tunisia 'destroys' local al-Qaeda-linked group
    Tunisian forces are on high alert after last month's attack on a beach resort that killed 38 holidaymakers [EPA]

    Tunisia's interior minister has said that his country has largely destroyed local armed group Okba Ibn Nafaa, suspected of orchestrating the March attack on a museum in the capital, Tunis.

    Najim Gharsalli announced on Sunday that the operation 'broke the spine' of the al-Qaeda linked group in North Africa.

    The Tunisian minister said the operation took place on Friday when Tunisian security forces killed five fighters in clashes in mountains near the central town of Gafsa.

    "This operation broke the spine of Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade. I can say at 90 percent. And this is very important," Gharsalli said.

    Tunisian forces are on high alert after last month's attack on a beach resort that killed 38 holidaymakers, most of them British, and the Bardo museum massacre by armed gunmen three months earlier.

    Okba Ibn Nafaa, which is aligned to al-Qaeda, has been fighting a low-level insurgency against Tunisian authorities near the Algerian border.

    But the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has also claimed responsibility for attacks in Tunisia.

    "There is no structured organisation in Tunisia called Daesh, this does not mean that there aren't people who pay allegiance to Daesh, some elements pay allegiance to Daesh," Gharsali added.

    The new leader of Okba Ibn Nafaa brigade Mourad Gharsalli was among those reportedly killed in the operation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.