News / Middle East

Tunisian Police Arrest More Militants

Muslim fundamentalists shout slogans during a protest in Tunis, Dec. 17, 2013 to mark the third anniversary of the Tunisian uprising.
Muslim fundamentalists shout slogans during a protest in Tunis, Dec. 17, 2013 to mark the third anniversary of the Tunisian uprising.
Reuters
Tunisia said on Thursday it had arrested four militants and seized arms and explosives in the southern town of Sidi Bouzid following increased security checks prompted by fears of attacks by radical Islamists during New Year celebrations.

The detentions followed the arrest of seven Salafists, or ultra-conservative Islamists, on Sunday in the western town of Kasserine.

“The national police arrested four terrorists belonging to a banned organization on Wednesday night. A Kalashnikov piece, munitions and explosives were seized during the operation,” Tunisia's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Local media reports said police had exchanged gunfire with the militants in Sidi Bouzid on Wednesday night and that a police officer has been injured. The ministry declined to confirm the reports.

State media said on Monday U.S. and Libyan forces had captured the leader of Tunisia's Islamist militants, Ansar al-Shariaa, in the Libyan city of Misrata, but his group denied he had been taken and the U.S army denied any involvement.

The Interior Ministry's statement did not say whether the four militants arrested belonged to al-Sahriaa's organization.

Last week, Tunisian police seized 60kg of gold, worth around $2.3 million, as they checked vehicles in the same city of Sidi Bouzid. The authorities said it was too early to say whether the gold had come from or was destined for militant groups.

The seven Salafists arrested on Sunday had been distributing leaflets demanding a ban on New Year celebrations and had threatened bakeries selling cakes for the occasion, local media said.

New Year celebrations used to be a big event in Tunisia, the most secular country in the Arab world, but they have faded since the revolution that toppled President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in early 2011, paving the way for the moderate Islamist Ennahda party to take power.

After a recent political crisis over the role of Islam in politics, the Ennahda party agreed to resign and will hand over to a caretaker government by January 14, the third anniversary of Ben Ali's fall.

Ultra-conservative Salafists, who want to impose an Islamic state, returned from exile or prison after Ben Ali was toppled.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sandor from: EU
January 02, 2014 3:56 PM
arresting any more "militants" will seal up the whole country in prison... they are all "militants"...which is a euphemism for Muslims!!! just keep them and their Iranians counterparts away from Europe!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid