Results tagged “Tunisia”
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Seven soldiers were injured in a clash with religious extremists near a national guard station in Douz in Kaybelie following the arrest of an extremist. Security forces arrested five Salafists in a raid on a mosque in Douar Hicher in Mandouba; and two more in Meknassi in Sidi Bouzid who had explosives, military uniforms, and computer equipment.
The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of 12 more terrorists from the Sidi Bouzid area; 12 others were arrested previously in two raids on Sept. 5. Three people were arrested in Kef yesterday for unauthorized use of hunting rifles. The NCA approved four new draft antiterrorism provisions, but faces an uphill battle to complete the drafting of its antiterrorism law before a new parliament is elected in October; so far only 36 out of 136 articles have been approved.
Security forces are increasing vigilance against terrorist attacks during the runup to elections in October; officials have claimed that over 1,700 terrorists were arrested in Tunisia between Jan. 1 and July 31. Authorities in Sidi Bouzid arrested two arms traffickers for an extremist group yesterday and confiscated quantities of RPGs, grenades, and ammunition from their van. Customs officials also seized a quantity of weapons from a Tunisian-registered van outside Ben Guerdane yesterday.
The Interior Ministry said six gunmen had attempted to kill parliament member Mohamed al Nasri at his home in Kasserine, but he had escaped after jumping into a neighbor's courtyard and breaking his leg. Islamists assassinated two secular politicians in Tunisia last year. Salafists tried to attack a national guard member in his home in Kasserine. Security forces arrested a suspected terrorist in Gafsa who was exchanging foreign currency. The parliament adopted portions of a draft law on terrorism and money laundering.
A hospital treated 10 Salafists injured by buckshot during a confrontation with two other people in Kasserine. Earlier this week, national guard forces in Kasserine arrested eight people linked to the Jebel Chaambi terrorists. The antiterrorism unit arrested three women for supporting and providing comfort to Jebel Chaambi terrorists; one of the women is the wife of Mourad Ben Allala Gharsli a.k.a. Garsallaoui, the deputy emir of the terrorist group there.
In addition to selling 12 Black Hawk helicopters to Tunisia, the US plans to give Tunisia $60 million in military aid to bolster its battle against Islamist militants. The Defence Ministry said planes spotted over Tunisia's southern border with Libya were Tunisian aircraft conducting routine border patrols. Religious Affairs Minister Mounir Tlili said 25 mosques are still "out of control."
Police fired at a car that was ignoring signals to stop at a checkpoint in Kasserine, killing two children who were passengers in the vehicle; the Interior Ministry said the roadblock had been set up to intercept an armed group that was traveling by car to Kasserine. Security forces seized nine Tunisian vehicles at the Ras Jedir border crossing that were loaded with smuggled Libyan fuel, and shot at two Libyan vehicles that were trying to force their way into Tunisian territory, causing them to turn back. The NAC's discussion of new antiterrorism laws was postponed until after Sept. 1.
For security reasons, the Transport Ministry canceled all flights coming from Mitiga, Misrata, and Sirte airports in Libya. The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of seven terrorists earlier this week; four were detained in Gabes as they tried to flee into Libya, and three others in Medenine. The suspects in Medenine were thought to be document forgers linked to a terrorist group in Libya; police seized a gun, a printer, and items used for forging passport stamps. All seven are suspected of involvement in a foiled Ansar al Sharia plot to assassinate political and security officials earlier this month. Authorities also arrested nine other suspected terrorists in several locations yesterday; four had attempted to kill a soldier in Ettadhamen, two were planning to attack security forces in El Kef, and others were accused of pledging allegiance to Ansar al Sharia and a foreign terrorist group, among other crimes.
The US donated 10 tons of personnel protective gear "to support Tunisia's fight against terrorism and ... to help Tunisia succeed in its transition to democracy," and promised to "make available to the Tunisian Air Force 12 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to aid in the fight against terrorism." A firefight broke out in Fernana on Aug. 9 between special forces and an armed terrorist group. Security forces seized 13 rifles hidden in a car crossing over from Libya on Aug. 12. A rights group criticized the government's decision to suspend the activities of over 150 organizations alleged to have terrorist connections. Reservists have been called up to secure the fall elections from terrorist attacks.
The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of 21 people belonging to five armed groups linked to Ansar al Sharia, after raids in Tunis, Soukra, Dar Fadhal, Raoued, and Kram. The suspects were allegedly planning attacks, including "bombing of civil security and military targets," on politicians, security officials, journalists, and "sensitive sites" in Tunis. Security forces arrested a woman suspected of providing support to terrorists in the forests of Kef; they also arrested a cyberjihadist who was assisting terrorists in Jebel Chaambi.
Security forces arrested three terrorists last night in Régueb in Sidi Bouzid; they are allegedly associates of Afif Lamouri, an Ansar al Sharia leader in Sidi Bouzid who was arrested on July 31. A Tunis court today issued a warrant for the arrest of Lamouri, a communications official for the terror group. Security forces raided the Kasserine home of Mourad Gharsalli, said to be a leader of the Islamist forces in Jebel Chaambi, but he was not there. Operations are continuing in Jebel Sammema. Nine Algerian terrorists are said to have entered north Jendouba. The governor of Monastir suspended eight organizations for Salafist links, and said one was connected to recruiting fighters for Syria. A committal order was issued against Seifeddine Rais, an Ansar al Sharia spokesman who has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Police took custody of 17 radical Islamists in Sousse who had violently interfered with preaching at a mosque. Tunisian and Egyptian authorities tried to speed up the evacuation of 6,000 Egyptians fleeing Libya into Tunisia for eventual return to Egypt. Tunisian authorities are seeking ways to prevent terrorists from entering the country from Libya. A local security official was wounded in an incident at the border yesterday. Prime Minister Jomaa said Tunisia will not host refugee camps for Libyans. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has claimed the July 17 attack in Jebel Chaambi that killed 15 Tunisian troops.
Security forces on patrol in Fouzaia in the governorate of Jendouba clashed with a terrorist group yesterday. Terrorists attacked security forces in Ain Debba in Jendouba. The Tunisian Red Crescent denied reports that a Tunisian doctor was killed in an Israeli raid in Gaza. Syphax Airlines, a private Tunisian carrier, denied "rumors" that it had lost aircraft in Libya.
Foreign Minister Hamdi threatened to close the Ras Jadir and Wazin-Dehiba border crossings, as at least 5,000 people per day have been entering Tunisia from Libya through Ras Jadir recently, and he ordered stepped up security at Ras Jadir. The Defense Ministry accepted the July 23 resignation of army chief General Mohamed Salah Hamdi, who resigned "for personal reasons" after a militant attack in Jebel Chaambi that killed 15 soldiers and wounded 20. A Salafist who provided material and logistical support to terrorist groups was arrested in El Kef on July 27. Five members of a "dormant" terrorist cell were arrested in Mahdia. Two soldiers were killed in a clash with terrorists in Kef on July 26.
Security forces arrested Mohamed Anis Chaieb, a wanted leader of the banned terrorist group Ansar al Sharia, in Mahdia yesterday. Warrants of committal were issued for six people in El Kef who had celebrated the recent killing of 15 soldiers in Jebel Chaambi. Eleven Tunisians who were kidnapped in Boukamech, Libya, returned to Tunisia.
Security forces arrested over 60 suspected militants in raids in Kasserine, Sidi Bouzid, and El Kef, including Makram Mouelhi, 34, head of an armed terrorist group in Garn Halfaya. In a crackdown on militant Islam, the government ordered the closure of all mosques not regulated by the government, as well as those mosques where celebrations were held following the killing of 15 soldiers in Jebel Chaambi on July 16. Sixteen people, including extremists, were arrested for celebrating the attack on the soldiers. Unknown assailants opened fire on a military equestrian club in Kasserine.
The Tunisian military announced that 14 soldiers were killed and 23 were wounded in attacks by two terrorist teams on military checkpoints on Mount Chaambi; one terrorist was killed. The death toll is reportedly the highest since the military's formation in 1956. The Okba Ben Nafaa Brigade has claimed the attack; Tunisian authorities have said the group is linked to both Ansar al Sharia and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. On July 15, over 12 Zintani fighters wounded from clashes with Islamist forces at Tripoli airport crossed over for medical treatment in Sfax city.
Security forces in Aouina and Sidi Bouzid uncovered a terrorist network that smuggles hunting guns from Libya into Tunisia. The Interior Ministry is seeking to arrest three suspected terrorists: Tunisian national Hichem Ben Mohamed Ben Abderrazzek Berrebeh, and Algerian citizens Khaled Hamadi Chaied and Mohamed Amine Mahkouka. Arrest warrants have been issued for six of some 20 jihadists said to have fought in Syria with the ISIS. On July 11, a returned jihadist told a court he had gone to Syria at the bidding of Bilel Chaouachi, a Salafist imam whom authorities recently questioned about his call for allegiance to the Islamic State's Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
Police and Salafists clashed in Kef. Following the Hizb ut-Tahrir party's June conference on "Establishment of the Caliphate and Removal of Colonialism," Prime Minister Jomaa accused the group of calling for violence and failing to respect the values of the republic. Citizens had demanded action against Hizb ut-Tahrir after its leader branded a leading Tunisian intellectual as an infidel. Interior Minister Jeddou said in June that about 2,400 Tunisian youth have traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham or the Al Nusrah Front, up from the roughly 1,800 Tunisians said to be in Syria in April. Jeddou also claimed that the government has prevented 8,800 Tunisians from traveling to Syria for jihad.
The government raised the terrorism alert level following the recent deaths of 10 soldiers in two landmine explosions in El Kef. The army launched an operation in the Mount Ouergha area of El Kef yesterday. Four Islamist extremists faced charges on July 5 in Bizerte for violating the law on mosques.