A court in Tunisia has sentenced 41 jihadists to death for planning and orchestrating an attack that killed 15 soldiers in the country’s border with Algeria in 2014. Despite only two of the sentenced being in custody, the other 39 have been at large and a manhunt has been launched both for the attack and recent links to ISIS operating in the country and the region at large.
The gun and rocket launcher assault on army positions in July 2014 left 15 troops dead in the Mount Chaambi area of the western Kasserine region that remains a hideout for extremists. The attack was the deadliest ever against the country’s army.
Tunisian armed forces have for the past six years carried out operations to track down wanted extremists in the area, which was declared a closed military zone in 2014. Okba Ibn Nafaa, a Tunisia-based division of Al-Qaeda, is also present in the area. Also, recent intelligence reports indicate a rise in ISIS presence in the region as well as other North African nation as the major group is driven out of and defeated in Iraq and Syria.