Tunisia arrests about 100 militant suspects, signs of Islamic State influence

By REUTERS
February 24, 2015 14:15

 
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TUNIS - Tunisia arrested about 100 suspected Islamist militants in the last three days, some of whom were preparing attacks, officials said on Tuesday, and published video footage showing evidence of an Islamic State influence on some of those detained.

Tunisia is waging a campaign against hardline Islamist groups who emerged in the country during its transition to democracy after the 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

News of the arrests comes one week after four Tunisian policemen were killed by militants in the central region of Kasserine, close to the Algerian border.

"In the past three days we foiled terrorist operations and arrested about 100 jihadist elements," Mohamed Ali Aroui, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.

Aroui said security forces had uncovered a militant cell in the city of Hammam Ghzaz that was preparing explosives to use in attacks on security buildings.

A video published by the Interior Ministry on Facebook showed the cell had owned instructions for making explosives and a picture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group which is active in Syria and Iraq.

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