Bassem Belhaj Yahia, a national guardsman who lost a leg during ongoing mine clearance operations near the Algerian border, said the group of militants being pursued by security forces is armed, well trained, and dangerous.
In an interview with radio Shems FM, Yahia, who is currently recovering following surgery to save his other leg, described what transpired during a search for militants hiding in the forest of Chambi Mountain in Kasserine governorate.
Yahia said he was injured the second day of the search, a day after other members of his team had been injured in land mine explosions. Yahia and two snipers were on a scouting mission when more mines exploded.
He said they discovered a camp where the militants had been hiding. It consisted of huts built into the ground and heavily camouflaged so they would not be spotted by helicopters. He described the camp as strategically located.
“All evidence showed that these people are very well-trained and were ready to attack,” Yahia added.
The scouting team revealed that the militants were well trained and organized, using solar energy to charge their phones and surviving on snacks.
“They probably have outside connections too,” he said.