Battle of Ben Guerdane

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Battle of Ben Guerdane
Part of the ISIL insurgency in Tunisia and the
spillover of the Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
Attaque de Ben Gardane-8.png
Security forces during the attack.
Date7–9 March 2016
(2 days)
Result Tunisian victory
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Ansar al-Sharia (Tunisia)[1]

Tunisia Tunisia

Commanders and leaders
Various Habib Essid
Beji Caid Essebsi
Farhat Horchani
(Minister of National Defense)
General Ismaïl Fathali
(Army Chief of Staff)
Samir Naqi[2]
(Senior police official)
Mohamed Maali[2]
(Head of counter-terrorism department)
Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir  Executed[1][2]
(Local anti-terror security chief)
~100 fighters[3][4] Unknown
Casualties and losses
35-55 killed
52 captured[4][5]
13 killed
14 wounded[4]
7 civilians killed
3 civilians wounded[4]
† Head of counter-terrorism division assassinated in home by militants.[2]

The Battle of Ben Guerdane occurred on March 7, 2016 in the city of Ben Gardane in Tunisia on the border with Libya. Islamic State forces attempted to seize the city, but were repulsed by the Tunisian military. The clashes continued also on 8 and 9 of March in the area.

The attack[edit]

Armed groups of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya and Ansar al-Sharia began the attack on the town by grouping around and seizing the local mosque. The mosque loudspeakers were used to broadcast a message and a signal for the attack on government facilities. The Tunisian National Guard, military barracks, and police posts were simultaneously ambushed, in an attempt to take over Ben Gardane and establish an "emirate" within Tunisia.[6] The fighting continued between the attackers and Tunisian military and police reinforcements, until clashes ended in mid-morning, and continued pursuit operations in the vicinity lasted the rest of the day.[7]


The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Defense put the death toll at 55 armed militants, 13 security forces members and seven civilians.[4][8]


  •  United Nations: United Nations Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms” the terrorist attack. In a statement, the council considered that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.” It also “underlined the need to bring perpetrators... of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice,” reaffirming “the need for all States to combat” this scourge by all means.[9]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • Epopee of Ben Guerdane: Secrets and Mysteries of the Battle of March 2016, Editions Sotumedias, Tunis, 2020 ISBN 9789938918762.


  1. ^ a b Bensemra, Zohra. "As fighters return, Tunisia faces growing challenge". The Wider Image.
  2. ^ a b c d e Raghavan, Sudarsan (May 13, 2016). "Islamic State, growing stronger in Libya, sets its sights on fragile neighbor Tunisia" – via
  3. ^ Warburton, Dan (March 12, 2016). "British defence experts helping Tunisian army in four-day battle against ISIS". mirror.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Two militants, Tunisian soldier killed in clashes". Al Arabiya English. March 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "Habib Essid : 55 terroristes abattus et 52 autres arrêtés, à Ben Guerdene". 2020-05-15. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  6. ^ "Tunisia closes border with Libya after fierce clashes". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  7. ^ Tunisia: Military Foil Attack On Ben Guerdane Barracks, No Less Than 10 Terrorists Killed Allafrica website, March 8, 2016
  8. ^ "Tunisia forces kill five 'terrorists' after deadly IS group raid". France 24. March 9, 2016.
  9. ^ "TAP". TAP. Retrieved 2020-05-20.