TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities say a group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group was behind the weekend beheading of a sheep farmer that has raised national concern.
The farmer, Okba Dhehibi, was found dead Sunday in a mountainous area near the town of Mont Salloum. The military sent reinforcements to search for the attackers, and the prime minister pledged heightened government efforts against terrorism.
Dhehibi and two friends were taking his sheep to graze when multiple assailants attacked them, according to official Tunisian news agency TAP.
Regional court spokesman Riadh Nouioui said Monday that the Jound Al Khilafa brigade was behind the attack. Tunisian authorities say the group has pledged allegiance to IS and has fighters hiding out in the Mount Salloum region, near the Algerian border. The brigade was accused of killing two other young shepherds in the area in recent years.
Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine traveled to the region Monday to pay the government’s condolences for Dhehibi’s death and to offer material and psychological support to his family. While he was en route, a car accident killed three national guard officers accompanying the ministerial convoy and injured two others, according to the minister’s office.