Results tagged “Tunisia”
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Authorities arrested eight members of Ansar al Sharia following the arrest of two bomb makers involved in a premature detonation in the Sfax suburb of El Ain on April 5. The Ansar al Sharia cell was reportedly planning to attack "vital institutions in the city of Sfax." Deputy Interior Minister Sfar said nearly 1,800 Tunisians are fighting in Syria and claimed that the government cannot stop them from doing so. He also said Tunisian fighters returning from Syria can take advantage of an amnesty policy as long as they have not killed anyone.
Security forces have arrested four wanted "religious extremists" during operations in Menzel Jemil in the coastal province of Bizerte. Tourism Minister Karboul said Tunisia will not issue visas to individual Israeli tourists. Last week the US lifted its travel warning for Tunisia that had been in place since Sept. 15, 2012, the day after Ansar al Sharia's attack on the US Embassy in Tunis.
Police and Salafists clashed in Kairouan after the Religious Affairs Ministry decided to replace two imams in the town. Security forces in Kasserine have arrested a suspected terrorist logistician linked to Jebel Chaambi terrorists. A bomb was found during a Sufi festival in Souk Lahad. A court sentenced Imed Dghi, a leader in the League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR), to eight months in prison for threatening authorities and encouraging violence.
A letter from the emir of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, Seifallah Hassine a.k.a. Abou Iyadh, was published on its website yesterday, urging young members to be steadfast despite efforts by security forces against the group. The retrial of 20 persons suspected in the attack on the US Embassy in Tunis on September 2012 is likely to be delayed. Four suspected terrorists stole four solar collectors from a solar energy research facility in north Jendouba on March 21.
Terrorists and National Guard officers exchanged gunfire at a customs facility in Kef. Security forces killed three terrorists and arrested six more during a March 17 raid on a house in Jendouba; two soldiers were wounded during the raid, and weapons and an explosive belt were found. Two soldiers were wounded in a clash with two terrorists in Sidi Bouzid that same day. The night before, police stopped a taxi carrying "four Salafists" to Souk El Jomaa, where the "Cell of Souk Jomaa" is based.
The Interior Ministry said three people were arrested over the weekend for assisting a terrorist group in the mountains of Jendouba. President Marzouki ended the three-year state of emergency on March 5; Prime Minister Jomaa has announced new coordination on counterterrorism between army, National Guard, and security units, but warned of the continuing threat posed by Tunisian fighters returning from Syria.
Ansar al Sharia Tunisia issued a statement denouncing France's peacekeeping efforts in the Central African Republic and calling on wealthy Muslims to aid their Muslim brothers in CAR, whom they described as victims of "the Crusader war against Islam." Following the arrest last week of a Tunisian national returning from Libya with a pistol at Ras Jedir, the border crossing was briefly closed. A Tunisian press watchdog said 35 journalists were attacked in 31 assaults in the country during the month of February alone.
Interior Minister Jeddou said some 400 Tunisian fighters have returned from Syria, and claimed that the government has prevented 8,000 Tunisians from going there. An estimated 5,000 Tunisians are said to be fighting in Syria. President Marzouki's office is reportedly considering an integration and amnesty policy for returning fighters. Vandals damaged the Sidi Bakai mausoleum in Jedaid on Feb. 23.
Army units on Mount Chaambi are investigating the source of a loud explosion heard yesterday. The day before, a roadside bomb detonated near an armored vehicle on Mount Chaambi. A TV show on a private channel has sparked controversy for airing views of terrorists and their associates, including the father of recently slain Kamel Gadhgadhi, a suspect in the assassination of Chokri Belaid.
Over 1,000 Tunisians rallied in Jendouba yesterday to protest the Feb. 16 terror attack that killed four people. The president of the National Constituent Assembly called the attack an attempt to destabilize the country. France urged its nationals to avoid the border governorates of Jendouba, le Kef, and Kasserine. The car used by the five terrorists was spotted in Souani in North Jendouba on the day of the attack. Visiting in Tunis, US Secretary of State Kerry praised President Marzouki's "rational thoughtful approach."
Five Islamist gunmen disguised as security officials killed three Tunisian policemen and a civilian after setting up a roadblock in Jendouba governorate near the Algerian border. The militants also wounded two policemen and a prison official, and stole identification papers, cash, weapons and a vehicle. A terrorist cell near Souk Ejjomaa village is suspected in the attack. Three of the attackers were said to be Tunisians and the other two were foreigners. Tunisian security forces have been battling Ansar al Sharia in the region.