Results tagged “Tunisia”
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Security forces found a terrorist group's gun-making workshop today in Ghardimou in Jendouba and arrested a member of the group. Yesterday the army said it had found an Ansar al Sharia hideout in the Ain Draham cave in Jendouba; it was being used by a 10-member cell headed by Faicel Dellai, the terror group's emir for Jendouba, El Kef, and Kasserine. On June 4, the National Guard confiscated 50 military uniforms from a van on the road between Sidi Bouzid and Meknassi.
A group of 15 to 20 terrorists armed with machine guns attacked the home of Interior Minister Jeddou in Kasserine on the night of May 27, killing four security guards and injuring three more. Jeddou was away at the time. The day before, a Tunis court had ordered the dissolution of the League for Protection of the Revolution (LPR) and all of its 20-some branches; the Islamist group, formed in 2012, has been blamed for attacks on journalists, politicians, and civic organizations. The militants who attacked Jeddou's home are thought to be from Mount Chaambi and to have links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. On May 23, the Interior Ministry published photos of 19 wanted terrorists.
Two soldiers were killed and four more injured by a land mine on Mount Chaambi. The incident occurred as a convoy was traveling in a closed military zone where security forces have been hunting members of Ansar al Sharia and allied terrorist groups for months.
The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of eight Islamist extremists from Libya who were planning to assassinate security officials and attack government institutions; the suspects had received explosives and weapons training in Libya. The Defense Ministry denied reports that US troops would be deployed in the desert near the Libyan border; yesterday the ministry said "military forces" had been deployed to secure the area near the Libyan border.
An army officer was wounded while defusing a mine in the Mount Chaambi area. Three people trying to enter Tunisia illegally from Libya were questioned; one said he intended to travel to Syria for "jihad" with an armed group. Interior Minister Jomaa announced plans for the creation of an antiterrorism office.
The sentence of Imed Dghij, head of the Islamist militia League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR), was reduced to three months from 14. A group devoted to "saving Tunisians stranded abroad" said at least 1,900 Tunisians have been killed fighting in Syria, where Tunisians make up the largest foreign fighter group, followed by Libyans. He said Tunisians have joined the ranks of both the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. President Marzouki has offered amnesty for militants "without blood on their hands"; Algeria and Saudi Arabia have also offered amnesty to returning jihadists. Critics of the plan noted that Tunisia does not keep a database of fighters who have gone to Syria. Tunisian officials said Marzouki's plan is not yet enacted and would not apply to members of al Qaeda or Ansar al Sharia.
Visiting the restricted military zone of Mount Chaambi yesterday, President Marzouki offered to pardon those militants who do not have blood on their hands. The Army killed a wanted militant and wounded another in the Chaambi area on May 5. Riadh Chaiibi, a former leader of the Islamist Ennahda party and member of its shura council, announced that his new party, Al-Binaa Al-Watani, has obtained legal authorization.
Authorities arrested five members of Ansar al Sharia in Ariana. Foreign Minister Hamdi said France recently confirmed its commitment to supporting the efforts of Tunisian security forces, especially in stabilizing the area along the Libyan border.
Tunisian military forces have launched an intensified campaign, backed up by air power, against Islamist militants in the Mount Chaambi region; the army spokesman said the operation is the largest in the army's history, and will not cease until the army has taken control of the mountain range. Police arrested two wanted "religious extremists" during a raid in Bizerte. Ennahda denounced the death sentences handed down in Egypt to 638 Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
One of two Tunisian diplomats recently kidnapped in Libya appeared in a video released by a Libyan militant group, Chabab Tawhid ("Youth of Unification"), begging the Tunisian government to negotiate for his release. The kidnappers are demanding the release of Islamists arrested after attacks in Rouhia in 2011. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia issued a statement of solidarity with protesters in Rouhia who had attacked police following the April 7 arrest of 16 extremists, including some who had fought in Iraq and Syria. A negotiator for the kidnappers claimed that two al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb prisoners whose freedom is demanded are innocent.
One soldier was killed and another injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in the Mount Chaambi area, shortly after security forces clashed with terrorists there. Additional areas around Mount Chaambi were declared closed military zones two days ago. Foreign Affairs Minister Hamdi said the kidnappers of a Tunisian diplomat abducted yesterday in Libya are linked to members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who were detained in Tunisia for attacks against security forces in Rouhia in 2011. The government plans to try to negotiate for the diplomat's release with the kidnappers, who are demanding the release of Islamist prisoners.