Tunisia uncovers Al-Qaeda network

Updated 17 December 2012
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Tunisia uncovers Al-Qaeda network

TUNIS: Tunisian security forces have broken up a network that recruited fighters for Al-Qaeda in North Africa, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
“A terrorist network which was responsible for recruiting radical militants and sending them to strongholds of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been dismantled,” a ministry spokesman said, quoted by the official TAP news agency. Seven people were arrested and were to appear in court on Thursday.
Two of them, detained one kilometre (0.62 miles) from the border with Algeria on Dec. 6, confessed to being part of the network. The rest were arrested in the days that followed, and a gun was seized from one of them.
Other members of the network were being sought in the region of Jendouba, in northwestern Tunisia.
Security forces were also hunting for gunmen who killed a policeman near the Algerian border on Monday, spokesman added.
Clashes, strikes and attacks by hardline militants have multiplied across Tunisia in the run-up to the second anniversary of the start of Tunisia's revolution, which will be marked today.


Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

Updated 2 min 9 sec ago
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Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

RAMALLAH: Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank to demand the Palestinian Authority lift punitive measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, an AFP reporter said.
Demonstrators in Ramallah chanted “scrap the sanctions!” during protests against the Palestinian Authority, organized by civil society groups.
The Ramallah-based administration has introduced a series of measures against Gaza over the past year.
Tens of thousands of its civil servants in the coastal enclave, separated from the West Bank by a strip of Israeli territory, have gone without full pay for months.
Critics say such moves by the PA, dominated by the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, further exacerbate the split between the two parts of the Palestinian territories.
The rally passed peacefully, unlike a protest on June 13 during which Palestinian security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
On Saturday, policemen were seen handing out Palestinian flags to the protesters.
Hamas has run Gaza since seizing it from the Palestinian Authority amid deadly clashes in 2007.
Since that year, Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza which it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas.
Rights groups say the siege amounts to collective punishment.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the territory since 2008.
Neighbouring Egypt has also largely sealed its land border with Gaza in recent years, citing security threats.
The United Nations has said Gaza, which is home to two million people, will be uninhabitable by 2020.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement last October, but it has since collapsed.