|Filed photo taken onJuly 2, 2014 shows Head of the Tunisian army Mohamed Salah Hamdimourning for the killed soldiers in Tunis, capital of Tunisia.Mohamed Salah Hamdi has resigned from his position as the highestcommander, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Wednesday. (Xinhua)
TUNIS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Head of the Tunisian army Mohamed Salah Hamdi has resigned from his position as the highest commander, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Wednesday.
Hamdi's resignation was denied by the ministry earlier after several media sources reported the news. But it was confirmed on Wednesday. Hamdi's leaving was for "personal" reasons, according to Defense Minister Ghazi Jeribi.
The army head will be temporarily replaced by the second highest commander, following the recommendation of the defense minister and the approval of both President Moncef Marzouki and Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.
According to private radio Mosaique FM, the reasons behind Hamdi's resignation could be the lack of coordination between the army and the air force, especially during the recent raiding and sweeping operations against armed "terrorists" near the borders with Algeria.
On July 16, 15 Tunisian soldiers were killed and many more injured in an armed attack by a group of gunmen in Kasserine, near the Algerian border, making it one of the country's deadliest attacks in recent years.
After the assault, Tunisia launched a crackdown on networks that recruit people to fight jihad abroad and on imams who incite violence.
The Tunisian authority has listed Mount Chaambi and nearby mountain districts a closed military zone, warning a growing threat posed by "terrorist groups" there.