Tunis- A clash between security forces and suspected terrorists in the Raoued area has resulted in the death of seven militants and one policeman.
Two of the militant’s corpses were identified: one of Kamel Gadhgadhi, the prime suspect the assassinations of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, and the other of Alaedine Najahi.
The policeman was identified as Atef El Jabri.
“Seven terrorists died. A member of the National Guard was killed and another wounded,” a ministry source told AFP.
AFP reported that the clash started on Monday afternoon and lasted until mid-morning on Tuesday. The terrorists group were found in a house in the Raoued suburb. According to witnesses, the police celebrated the end of the operation proclaiming “victory” after the operation to remove the terrorists was completed.
This incident follows similar clashes between extremist groups and security forces that took place in the Chaambi mountains last year, resulting in the deaths of 20 members of the security forces.
A press conference was held today in which Mohamed Ali Aroui, Interior Ministry spokesman, revealed details of the operation in Raoued. Several suspected terrorists were spotted in public, including Abu Baker el Hakim, who remains at large. Four suspects were killed, and two of those are still to be identified.
Aroui stated that the funeral of Atef El Jabri will take place tomorrow.
Tarek Amraoui, spokesman for the Tunisian National Guard, explained that “policemen were surprised by gun shots coming from another building behind the original one”. He went on to detail the reserves of weapons found in the hideout, including Kalashnikov rifles and Shtayer guns which had belonged to the soldiers slaughtered last year in the Chaambi Mountains. Significant amounts of supplies were found, including 600kg of TNT.
“Security is the basis of the country and the economy … we are supportive not an obstacle”. Said Aroui to the media. “We are still waiting for permission to reveal more details about the Chaambi events”, he added.
It is hoped that the ratification of the new constitution and the work of Mehdi Jomaa’s interim government will provide Tunisia with necessary future security and stability.