Tunisian man chased by police ‘blows himself up’

Tunisian special forces take up position in Ben Guerdane. Two Daesh suspects died following an action near the town. (Reuters)
Updated 19 March 2018
0

Tunisian man chased by police ‘blows himself up’

TINIS: A Tunisian man “blew himself up” as he was being chased Monday by police in a border region near Libya and his companion was shot dead, the interior ministry said.
Spokesman Khalifa Chibani told AFP the National Guard had received information concerning “two male suspects” in the southern Ben Guerdane region.
They tracked them down in the Magroun area, a desert zone near a nature reserve, and tried to arrest them but “one of them blew himself up,” he said.
Chibani said both suspects wore explosive vests, and had currency from chaos-wracked Libya, grenades and ammunition. “It is probable that they were planning to go to Libya,” he told AFP.
He said they could be two jihadists sought by authorities over connections to the Jund Al-Khilafa group, Arabic for “Soldiers of the Caliphate,” which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.
One of the suspects, he said, was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and had opened fire on the police.
After an exchange of fire, security forces “shot dead the second terrorist,” the interior ministry said, adding that the National Guard and the army were searching the area.
He said an investigation had been opened and would determine if the first suspect who blew himself up had activated his explosives vest or if it blew up in the exchange of fire with the security forces.
Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has faced a jihadist insurgency responsible for the deaths of dozens of soldiers, police, civilians and foreign tourists.
Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a suicide bombing in Tunis claimed by the IS killed 12 presidential guards.
Monday’s incident comes after a series of deadly operations in 2015 and two years after an IS offensive on the town of Ben Guerdane.
On March 7, 2016, jihadists launched brazen attacks on the town that killed 13 members of the security forces and seven civilians and also left 55 fighters dead.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed this month marked the anniversary of the Ben Guerdane attacks and said he wanted to “consecrate March 7 as a national day of victory against terrorism” and Ben Guerdane as “the town of victory against terrorism.”
Thousands of Tunisians have joined jihadist groups fighting in Iraq, Syria and neighboring Libya.


Sudanese protesters call for strike amid divisions with army

Updated 25 May 2019
0

Sudanese protesters call for strike amid divisions with army

  • The Sudanese Professionals’ Association called for the nationwide strike to begin Tuesday
  • They asked people to go to work but abstain from any activity, then head to various marches and sit-ins across the country

KHARTOUM, Sudan: Sudan’s protest leaders have set a date for next week’s two-day general strike in a bid to press the ruling military council to transfer power to a civilian-led authority.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which spearheaded protests that led the army to oust President Omar Al-Bashir last month, called for the nationwide strike to begin Tuesday.
A statement released Saturday asked people to go to work but abstain from any activity, then head to various marches and sit-ins across the country. The days of protest are set to culminate in mass rallies on Thursday.
Despite ending Al-Bashir’s 30-year reign, protesters have remained in the streets. They insist on “limited military representation” in a sovereign council, while the military wants to lead the body during an agreed-upon three-year transition.