Istanbul, Turkey – On Saturday, the Tunisian armed Islamist group Uqba Ibn Nafe declared allegiance to the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot which announced a Caliphate in controlled areas of Syria and Iraq.
In an official statement, of which ARA News received a copy, the group said: “Our brothers of the Mujahideen in the battalion of Uqba Ibn Nafe are strongly supporting and swearing allegiance to the organization of the Islamic State, calling on the IS to continue progress to bypass the border and destroy the throne of tyrants everywhere.”
The extremist group of Uqba Ibn Nafe is linked to the banned organization of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia. The group used to define itself as an al-Qaeda affiliation in Tunisia, before declaring allegiance to the IS Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The group also called on other Qaeda members to join the ranks of IS and fight the U.S.-led anti-Caliphate international coalition –which intends to hit IS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
“The West intends to destroy the Islamic State, and we need to unify our ranks to back the Caliphate against its enemies,” the statement read.
Tunisian authorities have been pursuing militants of Uqba Ibn Nafe battalion for months, but have been unable to eliminate the group. The Tunisian army and security forces are currently engaged in battles in Mount al-Shaanibi in Tunisia, fighting against Ansar al-Sharia and its member groups.
Notably, the Uqba Ibn Nafe armed group carried out an attack against patrols of the Tunisian army in al-Shaanibi Mount last July, killing 14 soldiers and injuring twenty others.
Reporting by: Mohammed Nasser
Source: ARA News
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