An officer in the National Guard, named Anis Jelassi, died yesterday afternoon after being shot by an unknown group of gunmen near the town of Feriana in the governorate of Kasserine.
“Jelassi did not die inside the hospital, but in the ambulance… He was shot in his thorax [the chest region], and the bullet penetrated deep, which caused a hemorrhage,” said a doctor from the regional hospital of Kasserine, who asked to remain unnamed.
“He lost a lot of blood as he was transferred from Bou Chebka [district] to the regional hospital of Feriana and then to Kasserine. The distance was about 55 kilometers.”
The burial procession for Jelassi is to be held this afternoon at 1 p.m. in Kairouan, his birthplace.
Jelassi’s family has expressed its dissatisfaction with the failure to provide necessary protection for security agents on the border, reported Tunisian radio Shems FM.
The unknown group, numbering around four attackers, entered Tunisian territory from Algeria, said TAP, and were in the forest of Derneya, which is a village 10 kilometers away from the Algerian border.
“The National Guard officers went first to the forest when they received a call telling them about the presence of an unknown group,” explained an official from the local governorate of Kasserine, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“They did not bring with them reinforcements, which encouraged the gunmen to shoot at them,” said the same local official, who criticized the decision by the National Guard to send a small contingent to answer the call of suspicious activity in Derneya.
Military and security reinforcements have closed off the site of the attack and are conducting combing operations in the area. The gunmen have not been apprehended until now.
An official from the National Guard in Kasserine, who did not give his name, echoed suspicions circulating in the media that the unknown gunmen are what he described as Salafists.
On Saturday, December 8, a Tunisian security source told TAP that police had seized guns and explosives and arrested two men, suspected of membership to a Salafist group, in the Fernana district of Jendouba governorate.