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Three weapon caches discovered, foreigners probably among attackers

Published the:  08/03/2016

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08 March 2016 - TAP - Prime Minister Habib Essid said, Wednesday, the interrogation of seven terrorists arrested helped obtain very important” information.

The interrogation also helped discover three weapon caches, he added, noting that a truck loaded with sophisticated weapons was also seized.

Speaking at a press conference in Dhiafa Palace, Carthage after the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister pointed out that according to initial investigations, the number of attackers, who had committed the terrorist assault on Monday at dawn, would be 50 most of whom are Tunisians.

There would be probably foreign terrorists among the attackers, he said.

Four of the 36 terrorists killed have already been identified. The identification of the others is underway, added the Prime Minister.

According to the first element of the investigation, the attack began at about 5 a.m. near a mosque, located close to the place of attacks (military barracks and police and national guard districts), he noted.

The terrorists were planning to establish a “Daesh emirate” in Ben Guerdane and seize the military barracks and the National Guard and police districts, the prime minister pointed out.

The response by the armed forces was “firm and fast,” therefore thwarting the plans of terrorists, he said.

Habib Essid also emphasized the key role of the residents of Ben Guerdane in thwarting this terrorist attack and their support to the armed and security forces. “Civilians lost their lives for the nation.”

The Prime Minister said information on a potential terrorist attack in Ben Guerdane were received by relevant services, which explains “the presence of specialized units and heavy security and military reinforcement in the city.”

The government has set up strategies and an action plan to combat terrorist that cannot be revealed, given their secrecy.

Providing the final toll of the operation conducted by the security forces and the army in Ben Guerdane, the Prime Minister said 36 terrorists were killed and 7 others arrested.

Nineteen martyrs fell in the terrorist attack (10 security personnel, a customs officer, a serviceman and 7 civilians).

The number of wounded reached 17 (14 military and security personnel and 3 civilians).