Al-Qaida Affiliate Leader’s Top Aide Reportedly Killed in Tunisia
TUNIS, TUNISIA —
Tunisian security forces have killed a top aide of Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official source told Reuters on Saturday.
Tunisia has been on high alert since 2015, when Islamic State gunmen 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 Abu Wadud” 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.
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Terrorism has deterred tourism, an industry that directly accounts for 6% of employment in Tunisia. Many Tunisians in the southern and central regions turn to the illicit economy to sustain a livelihood, such as smuggling oil from Libya.
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