The IED claim is the group’s first since July and just the second attack claim of the year for the small Tunisian Al Qaeda wing.
Yesterday’s ambush was the highest death toll in a terrorist attack in the country since the Islamic State’s foray into Ben Gardane in March 2016.
The army will be protecting government installations, following an incident in which protesters burned a security headquarters near the Algerian border, prompting police to flee.
Yesterday’s claim was just the second released by the group this year. However, al Qaeda Tunisian branch has continued to harass both the local security forces and the local population.
AQIM’s Uqba bin Nafi battalion claimed an IED blast on Tunisian troops close to the Algerian border. This is the second claim in two months for the jihadist group.
The Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader, was killed in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26. Al-Hakim had ties to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, before defecting to the Islamic State’s cause. He admittedly assassinated one Tunisian politician in 2013 and knew the assailants responsible for a second slaying.
The claim marks the first group’s first attack since July and an earlier ambush in March.
The Tunisian state continues to face a jihadist threat from both the Kasserine region and what is emanating from the Libyan border.