One of Tunisia’s most wanted militants and a top commander of the ISIL terrorist group has died during fighting in a coastal city in Libya, an official confirms.
The death of ISIL field commander Ahmed al-Rouissi has been confirmed through “scientific means” which were carried out in coordination with Libyan authorities, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui told media on Tuesday.
The ISIL militant was killed during recent clashes between the terrorist group and Tripoli-allied fighters, the Misrata-based 166th Battalion, around Libya’s coastal city of Sirte.
A separate confirmation of his death was posted in a eulogy on the terrorist group’s website.
Libya has two rival camps vying for control of the country, with one controlling Tripoli, and the other, Libya’s internationally recognized government, governing the cities of Bayda and Tobruk.
Rouissi was considered the mastermind behind a series of attacks in Tunisia, which were led by the Salafi terrorist group, Ansar al-Sharia, including the 2013 assassinations of politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.
Tunisians have staged protests demanding truth and justice for their assassinations, which have ultimately led to the resignation of the elected government.
The 48-year-old Rouissi, along with the Ansar al-Shariah founder, Seifallah Ben Hassine, had since fled to Libya where they began fighting under the banner of the ISIL group.
Exploiting the power vacuum in Libya, the ISIL, which controls some regions in Iraq and Syria, has expanded acts of terror to the violence-wracked North African country.
Libya plunged into chaos after the ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, which gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions. Three years on, the country is still struggling with insecurity.