ISIS beheads ‘spy’ and kills three soldiers in Tunisia as fanatics carve new caliphate in Africa

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for beheading a 'spy' and killing three soldiers in central Tunisia as fanatics carve a new caliphate in Africa. 

According to Arab News a report by SITE Intelligence Group confirmed on Thursday that the soldiers were killed in three blasts ignited by its fighters near Mount Mghila and that a ‘spy’ was beheaded separately by ISIS on February 3.

The defence ministry announced the losses the same day, saying the soldiers in “a military unit tasked with carrying out a combing operation of Mount Mghila looking for terrorist elements were killed by a mine” explosion.

Mount Mghila, which is near the border with Algeria, is adjacent to Mount Chaambi, which is considered a hideout for extremists.

Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said, it “will not stop us from pursuing our efforts to fight and defeat terrorism.”

ISIS also said in its Al-Naba digital newspaper that militants executed a spy for the army on December 20 near Mount Selloum in the Kasserine region.

Authorities had said at the time that the victim was a 20-year-old man named Oqba Al-Dhibi, identified on local radio as a shepherd tending his flock when he was attacked.

Tunisia has seen a surge in radical Islam since the country’s 2011 revolution.

Many have been killed in militant attcks while the army has been battling militants in Kasserine since 2012.

In October the Pentagon had issued a report stating the Islamic State had been taking over swathes of Africa with "staggeringly brutal" tactics.

It said there has been a "marked upward curve of claimed cumulative attacks and casualties" across Africa, but the "largest and most sophisticated" presence is in West Africa and the Greater Sahara.

In 2019, attacks claimed by Islamic State West Africa Province – or ISWAP for short – occurred in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

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