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Tunisia dismantles terrorist cell

21 May 2013, 07:29

Tunis - A "terrorist cell" preparing to launch attacks against Tunisian police and army has been dismantled in the central region of Kairouan, the interior ministry said on Monday.

"A terrorist cell was dismantled in Haffouz and a 23-year-old who planned to attack the police and army has been arrested," ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ali Aroui told reporters.

He said the arrest was made on 16 May, adding that two suspects had managed to flee.

Aroui showed pictures of three pistols, ammunition and electronic gadgets used to manufacture bombs which were seized during the operation.

Tunisia is facing an increase in extremist Islamism since the 2011 revolution that ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

On Sunday, clashes between police and Salafists in a suburb of the capital left one dead and 18 injured.

Tunisian forces are also hunting armed men linked to al-Qaeda near the border with Algeria.

A police officer was also murdered near Tunis earlier in May by Salafists.

The Tunisian government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, long accused of being lax about extreme Islamists, has stepped up operations against the Salafists since the end of April.



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