In response to recent regional developments, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali stated yesterday in an interview broadcast on Tunisian television station Hannibal TV that terrorist groups have attempted to traffic weapons into Tunisia.
“Due to the Libyan revolution and disturbances in Mali, some terrorist organizations took the opportunity to smuggle arms into Tunisia, but fortunately National Guard forces and national army units countered these attempts,” said Jebali.
Jebali added that efforts are being made by Tunisia and its two neighbors, Algeria and Libya, to fight against arms trafficking and protect the borders.
Jebali’s statement come three days after National Guard officers clashed with an unknown group of armed men in the mountainous area of Derneya along the Algerian border in the governorate of Kasserine. The exchange of fire between the two parties resulted in the death of Anis Jelassi, a 27-year old National Guard officer.
“[Security forces] are now trying to trap the armed group in Jebel Chambi (a mountain nearby the site of the clash),” commented Jebali.
AFP reported yesterday that 11 suspects were detained by authorities in connection to Monday’s attack on National Guard officers. However, an official in the local government of Kasserine dismissed today this report to Tunisia Live. The Ministry of the Interior was not available for comment prior to publication.