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Tunisia shepherd dies after extremist attack: ministry

North Africa | 2018-06-25 15:24:00
Tunisia shepherd dies after extremist attack: ministry
A Tunisian shepherd has died from wounds sustained when he was attacked over the weekend by extremists in the country's mountainous center, the defense ministry said Monday.

Mohamed Griri was "attacked by a group of terrorists" on Saturday while grazing his sheep in a closed military zone on Mount Chaambi, in Kasserine, the ministry said.

The 28-year-old was transferred to a military hospital in Tunis, where he succumbed to his wounds on Sunday night, the ministry said, without providing further details on the assault.

"He was screaming in pain. He was bashed in the head and his nose was cut off," Griri's brother, who found the wounded shepherd, told Tunisia's private Mosaique FM broadcaster.

It was not the first time a shepherd has been killed by militants in the North African country.

In 2015, 16-year-old Mabrouk Soltani was beheaded in nearby Mount Mghilla by a group of extremists as his 14-year-old cousin watched.

The Tunisian branch of Daesh (ISIS), Jund al-Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), claimed responsibility, accusing the boy of informing the army on their movements.

Two years later, Mabrouk's brother Khalifa was abducted and killed in the same area, in an attack also claimed by Daesh.

Mount Chaambi, near Tunisia's border with Algeria, is also a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion.

Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in extremist attacks that have killed dozens of members of the security forces and at least 59 foreign tourists.

The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a Daesh-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.
AFP
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