Results tagged “Tunisia”
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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.
Six policemen have been injured in Rouhia in the Siliana governorate during ongoing clashes between the banned group Ansar al Sharia and security forces, since the arrest of at least 16 Salafist extremists a few days ago. The Air Force bombed a terrorist camp in the forests of Mount Chaambi in Kasserine. Earlier, security forces encountered two roadside bombs in the Chaambi area.
Security forces arrested 16 "religious extremists" in Rouhia in the Siliana governorate yesterday; they reportedly included former fighters from wars in Iraq and Syria. Clashes broke out during the raids, which targeted extremist groups linked to Ansar al Sharia. The US recently pledged $500 million in loan guarantees to Tunisia.
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.