Results tagged “Tunisia”
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Tunisian Constituent Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jafar ordered the suspension, but not the dissolution, of the assembly. Education Minister Labyedh resigned yesterday, putting additional pressure on the ruling Islamist Ennahda party in the face of growing opposition demands for the dissolution of the assembly. Ennahda party chief Rachid Ghannouchi said his party insists that Prime Minister Larayedh must stay. Security forces suggested that the terrorists who killed eight soldiers recently in the Jebel Chaambi area may be linked to Kamal Bin Arabaya, a terrorist leader said to have been recently arrested in Algeria.
The Interior Minister offered to resign, and Tunisia's largest labor union called for the dissolution of the government. The ruling Islamist Ennahda party said it was willing to form a unity government but not to dissolve the constituent assembly. The government in emergency session yesterday urged the return of over 60 members of the constituent assembly who had withdrawn in protest. The National Guard warned of security threats "that may involve advanced, systematic terrorist attacks, such as bombings targeting public spaces, public means of transportation and some state structures."
Suspected Islamist militants ambushed Tunisian security forces in the Mount Chaambi area, killing at least eight soldiers. The Tunisian military has been pursuing al Qaeda-linked militants in the area for months without success. Prime Minister Laarayedh refused to resign, despite opposition calls for him to do so; some 50 members of the national assembly have resigned in protest against the Islamist Ennahda government's failure to provide security in the country.
The government named Salafi extremist Boubaker Hakim as the prime suspect in the assassination yesterday of secular politician Mohamed Brahmi, and claimed that the weapon used was the same that killed secular politician Chokri Belaid in February. Officials said four members of a 14-member al Qaeda cell to which Hakim belongs have been arrested but Hakim remains at large.
Thousands protested after secular Tunisian politician Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead in front of his wife and children today in Tunis. The trade unions head has predicted a "bloodbath." The assassination resembles that of secular political leader Chokri Belaid, who was killed in front of his home on Feb. 6; yesterday the government said it had identified six people involved in Belaid's killing and would "soon" reveal details. Authorities plan to deport Mauritanian cleric Mustapha Weld Beb Ahmed Chinguiti, a Salafist arrested in Bardo with ties to extremist groups there. Ansar al Sharia is increasingly active in Tunisia. Prime Minister Larayedh admitted on July 22 that despite ongoing security operations in the Jebel Chaambi area against al Qaeda-linked militants, no arrests have been made there. Algeria has warned that Mokhtar Belmokhtar's Signed in Blood Brigade might conduct operations in Tunisia.
After Salafists attacked the performance of a play last week in El Kef about the assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid, police arrested 19 of the play's actors for "indecent behavior." The prosecutor has asked police to investigate the incident to see whether the charges, which can lead to six months in prison, will be pressed. The Salafist attackers were not arrested.