By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 18 March 2015:
A high-ranking Islamic State (IS) leader from Tunisia has been killed in . . .[restrict]clashes between the extremist group and Libya Dawn forces in and around Sirte.
Websites supporting IS have published pictures of the dead militant commander, who has been identified as Ahmed Rouissi. He is shown with a gunshot wound to the head and wearing military fatigues.
Other pro-Islamist social media outlets have claimed Rouissi was taken to a morgue at a Misrata hospital, although this has not been confirmed.
Tunisian security sources have said they have received intelligence confirming Roussi’s death. “According to the information we have, we can say Rouissi has been killed in the most recent fighting in Sirte,” an official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.
Rouissi was reportedly a member of Ansar Al-Sharia in Tunisia, a group viewed by the UN and the US state department as separate but ith links to Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi and Derna . The jihadist later joined IS in Libya.
It is believed there are roughly 500 IS fighters in Sirte battling with Libya Dawn’s 166 Brigade. Dawn forces began their campaign to push the militant fighters out of the town on Sunday. Dozens have been killed in the fighting with unconfirmed reports of further casualties between Nawfaliyah and Bin Jawad, east of Sirte today.
A large contingent of foreign fighters from Tunisia, like Rouissi, and elsewhere in the region is believed to be among the ranks of IS in Sirte. The group has also reportedly attracted individuals linked to the former regime along with fighters from other Islamist brigades.