Results tagged “Tunisia”
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The military resumed its bombing of suspected terrorist hideouts in the Chaambi and Sammama regions of Kasserine last week; operations against al Qaeda-linked militants near the Algerian border have been ongoing for months. Three landmines have exploded in the area this month alone. Abderraouf Ayadi, president of the Wafa Movement and a member of the National Constituent Assembly, urged the government to engage in dialogue with the banned group Ansar al Sharia, which is blamed for for landmines and clashes with security forces.
Security forces killed an armed terrorist and arrested eight more in a raid in Kebili province. Two policemen were injured during the operation, and 12 more suspects were detained for questioning. In the ongoing sweep, security forces seized grenades, a truck bomb, five cars, communications equipment, and a large quantity of cash.
Security along the Libyan border has been beefed up after a report that Ansar al Sharia was planning to stage simultaneous terror attacks across the country using suicide bombers trained in Syria and Libya. One rumor said 15,000 terrorists were planning to attack Tunisia from Libya. The Hizb Ettahrir party, a hardline Salafist group that was recognized by the government in July 2012, protested in Tunis, calling for a caliphate. An activist group accused the government of involvement in the assassinations of liberal leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.
President Marzouki extended the state of emergency for another eight months due to persistent instability. Security forces arrested 20 terrorists on Nov. 1 and confiscated mines and explosives. The government has blamed Ansar al Sharia for recent suicide attacks. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia posted messages on its Twitter account on Nov. 2 urging Tunisians to support the group and turn against the government.
Authorities arrested five members of Ansar al Sharia suspected of plotting the recent bombing at a hotel in Sousse and attempted bombing in Monastir. Military forces launched an offensive against terrorists in the Sidi Bouzid region.
A suicide bomber detonated outside a hotel in the coastal city of Sousse, killing only himself; authorities are pursuing an additional suspect. Police foiled a suicide attack in Monistir, arresting a suspected bomber at the tomb of former president Habib Bourguiba. The suspects are said to be Tunisian Salafists. An Islamist hacking group called Fallaga took over the Facebook page and Twitter account of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice minister; one post by the group mentioned Kamel Gadhgadhi, a suspect in the murder of politician Chokri Belaid. Security forces protested in Tunis against growing insecurity in the country and the politicization of their forces. "Terrorists" attacked a National Guard post near the Algerian border on Oct. 26.
Terrorists killed one policeman and injured another in Bizerte; authorities arrested 11 Salafists who had attacked a police station. At least eight National Guardsmen and two Islamist militants were killed during a raid on Oct. 22 by security forces on a suspected militant hideout in the central province of Sidi Bouzid. On the second anniversary of national elections, thousands marched in Tunis calling for the Islamist Ennahda government to step down. Protesters torched an Ennahda office in Kef.
The Interior Ministry claimed to have killed nine terrorists and captured four last week in Beja; one of those killed was said to be Ansar al Sharia operative Lotfi Ezzine, a suspect in the assassinations of moderate political leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi. Ezzine was reportedly detained during a raid in Sousse in August. Ongoing military operations against terrorists in the Jebel Chaambi area have produced few arrests. An expert on Islamic groups disputed Prime Minister Lareyedh's recent claim to have "dismantled" Ansar al Sharia, and also said extremists control over 100 mosques in Tunisia.