Results tagged “Tunisia”
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The UGTT union chief said Tunisia's political parties had chosen a new prime minister, whose name will be announced tomorrow, to replace Prime Minister Lareyedh. The ruling Islamist Ennahda party has agreed to step aside after a cabinet is named, a constitution is drafted, and elections are slated.
A news outlet has claimed that Ansar al Sharia may use female suicide bombers in forthcoming attacks. Security forces have recently arrested "many young people" in possession of pictures and leaflets of Osama bin Laden and Ansar al Sharia leader Abou Iyadh. Authorities refused to pardon Jabeur Mejri, who was imprisoned last year for posting Prophet Mohammed cartoons on his Facebook page; the Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice said that "[i]nsulting the Prophet could not be considered as an act of free speech" in Tunisia.
An army captain was killed and another soldier was injured when a landmine planted by Islamist militants exploded on Mount Chaambi. The National Constituent Assembly is considering the reintroduction of habous, a set of Islamic laws dismantled in 1956 that ensures property is not transferred outside a family but may be given to religious and charitable institutions. Authorities recently arrested El Haj Etounssi, an international weapons smuggler who has helped arm and finance al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
A Tunis court has postponed until Jan. 28, 2014 the appeals trial of 20 persons suspected of involvement in the Sept. 14, 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Tunis. The prosecution and the defense had each appealed the May 28 decision to give the suspects two-year suspended sentences. The al Qaeda-linked group Ansar al Sharia is suspected in the attack; one of its operatives, but not ringleader Seifallah ben Hassine (a.k.a. Abu Iyad al Tunisi ), has been arrested.
In Silania, hundreds of protesters attacked the police and the national guard headquarters, injuring 50 police officers. Protesters stormed the local governorate building in Gafsa and set fire to the offices of the ruling Ennahda and CPR parties. The motive for the protests was said to be unclear and no arrests were made. A year ago over 300 protesters were injured in clashes with police in Silania.
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.
The Interior Ministry blamed Ansar al Sharia for the killing of two National Guardsmen earlier this week, and said 13 suspects have been killed and one of several holed up in Mount Touayer near Beja was arrested by security forces, who are still pursuing members of the group. About two tons of bomb-making material, along with ammunition and vision equipment, was found in a house rented by the group, which was reportedly planning attacks. Last week security forces were deployed near the Libyan border, after warnings of attacks by armed groups allied with Ansar al-Sharia, and a suspected terrorist was arrested in Kasserine.
Armed Salafists from a group currently being pursued in the mountains attacked a checkpoint in Beja, about 45 miles west of Tunis, killing two National Guardsmen and injuring a third. Another attack was reported yesterday at a post in Jenduba near the Algerian border.
The Islamist Ennahda government agreed to resign, form a caretaker administration, and plan for elections, after months of protests by the secular opposition. President Marzouki said he was waiting for "political good moment" to release a man jailed for insulting Islam, due to concerns about the Salafist reaction. Tunisians have reported hearing nightly explosions across the country over the past several weeks.
Some 300 Tunisian extremists have joined Mokhtar Belmokhtar's Mourabitounes terrorist group, which is said to be asking AQIM, Ansar Dine, and Tunisian terrorist brigades to join it. The group is believed to run training camps in southern Libya. Interior Minister Jeddo said a number of Tunisian girls have returned home pregnant from Syria after performing "sexual jihad" for Islamist fighters there. Since March, the interior ministry has banned 6,000 Tunisians from traveling to Syria and arrested 86 persons suspected of forming recruiting networks for jihad in Syria. A senior security official last month said a "sexual jihad cell" had been broken up in western Tunisia that was offering minor girls to Ansar al Sharia fighters.
The Interior Ministry said security forces killed two members of Ansar al Sharia and arrested two of the militant group's leaders during a raid in a Tunis suburb on Sept. 9. The captured men, Mohamed Aouadi, its alleged military leader, and senior official Mohamed Khiari, were said to be involved in the assassinations of opposition legislators Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi as well as getting Libyan weapons into Tunisia. Security forces say they expect al Qaeda to soon declare Tunisia a "land of jihad" rather than a "land of preaching," and are bracing for attacks.
Tens of thousands in Tunis called for the dissolution of the Islamist Ennahda government, in the largest protest since demonstrations in July over the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. Security forces dismantled a smuggling ring that sent young Tunisians to Libya for terrorist training; 21 people were arrested, including one foreigner. Insecurity is damaging Tunisia's economy.
The Interior Ministry disclosed that the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia is planning to assassinate 19 prominent Tunisians, including National Constituent Assembly Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar and Republican Party Secretary-General Maya Jribi. Officials stated that the group is a terrorist organization connected to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the "Okba Ibn Nafaa" terrorist group operating in Mount Chaambi, near the Algerian border. The government announced plans to create "buffer zones" along the Libyan and Algerian borders to protect against "terrorism."