15 Tunisian soldiers were killed and 20 injured in an attack near Chaambi Mountain Wednesday night
Fifteen Tunisian soldiers were killed and 20 injured in an attack near Chaambi Mountain Wednesday night.
“Two groups attacked military checkpoints at 7:40 p.m.,” Ministry of Defense Press Attache Rachid Bouhoula told Tunisia Live. “They shot from many angles and […] used machine guns and [rocket-propelled grenades].”
The wounded were taken to the regional hospital in Kasserine to receive first aid, according to a Ministry of Defense statement issued Thursday.
“One terrorist was killed,” Bouhoula said. “We do not know the exact number [of attackers], but there were two groups.”
“Some said on social media that the Uqba Ibn Nafi Battalion claimed responsibility, but we can’t confirm that,” he added. “We are still tracking the attackers. Field operations are ongoing.”
The Ministry of Defense Press Office described the attack’s outcome as “the heaviest toll suffered by the army since independence” in 1956, according to The Huffington Post Maghreb.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki declared a three-day period of national mourning, to begin Thursday, and ordered flags to be flown at half mast, according to the presidency’s official Facebook page.
The Tunisian military has conducted operations against militants in the Chaambi mountain area since early 2013. The area has been considered a “closed military zone” since last summer.
This article has been updated to reflect new information regarding the number of killed and injured in Wednesday’s attack.
Jacob is Tunisia Live's editor. He has a master’s degree in security and development studies from The George Washington University and has experience with international assistance programs in the Middle East and North Africa. Jacob speaks English, Arabic, and French. He has lived in Jordan and Egypt before arriving in Tunisia.