Jihadists (illustration)
Jihadists (illustration) iStock

Tunisian security forces have killed a top aide of Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist group, an official source told the Reuters news agency on Saturday.

Tunisia has been on high alert since 2015, when Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists killed dozens of foreign tourists in a museum in the capital, Tunis, and on a beach in the resort city of Sousse.

Algerian Bilel Kobi was “the right arm of Abou Wadoud” and was killed in an ambush near the Algerian border when on a mission to reorganize AQIM’s Tunisian branch following strikes by Tunisian forces against it, the source told Reuters.

Last year Tunisian forces killed several Islamist terrorists, including Mourad Chaieb, the Algerian leader of Okba Ibn Nafaa, a group that has fought for years with security forces in Tunisia’s mountainous interior.

AQIM is the African branch of the lethal terrorist group, and has in the past threatened France with attacks over its “hostility to Islam”.

Several years ago, it promised “dark days” to the United States-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria.