Tunisia security forces kill three suspected militants

Tunisian Ministry of Interior (pictured) said security forces killed three militants from the Daesh affiliated Jund Al-Khilafa group. (File/Wikipedia)
Updated 05 May 2019

Tunisia security forces kill three suspected militants

TUNIS: Tunisian security forces have killed three suspected militants from a Daesh group affiliate in the center of the country, the interior ministry said Sunday.
A statement said “three of the most dangerous terrorists” from the Jund Al-Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate) group were “eliminated” Saturday evening near the town of Sidi Ali Ben Oun, 230 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of Tunis.
It identified the men as Hatem ben Aid Basdouri, 40, Mohamed ben Ibrahim Basdouri, 35, and Montassar ben Khraief Ghozlani, 31.
Security forces seized weapons, ammunition, explosives and suicide vests, the authorities said.
In an earlier statement Saturday the ministry said it also had managed to “thwart terrorist projects” planned for upcoming Muslim holy month Ramadan after arresting another suspected militant.
Tunisian security forces regularly conduct search operations in the mountainous areas near the border with Algeria to hunt down Deash- and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
In March the interior ministry said security forces had shot dead three alleged Jund Al-Khilafa members accused of involvement in the grisly killings of shepherds in the restive Kasserine region.
Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced multiple militant attacks that have killed dozens of members of the security forces and 59 foreign tourists.
The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a Daesh-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.


Gulf countries announce measures to cut links with Iran as coronavirus cases rise in Middle East

Updated 13 min 13 sec ago

Gulf countries announce measures to cut links with Iran as coronavirus cases rise in Middle East

  • The UAE suspended all passenger and cargo flights to Iran
  • Kuwait has canceled celebrations for national holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday

DUBAI: Gulf countries announced new measures on Tuesday to cut links with Iran to prevent coronavirus spreading after the confirmation of 20 new cases, all of them people returning from the Islamic republic.

The UAE suspended all passenger and cargo flights to Iran after Kuwait and Bahrain announced the additional cases of COVID-19.

Over the past two days, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman have reported 29 cases of the novel coronavirus among people returning from pilgrimages to Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China and where the death toll has reached 16.

Bahrain also announced 9 new cases, bringing the total number affected in the kingdom to 17 — including six Saudi women — after they returned from Iran via Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority “suspended all passenger flights and cargo to and from Iran starting today and for one week,” a statement carried by the official WAM news agency said, adding that the ban could be extended.

Also on Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed tweeted that the UAE was ready to provide all forms of support to help China combat the spread of the virus.

Shortly after, the Bahraini authorities said citizens were banned from traveling to Iran “until further notice.”

In neighboring Kuwait, three new cases were recorded among Kuwaiti men who had been under quarantine after returning from Iran.

Oman, which on Monday reported its first cases of coronavirus in two Omani women who had returned from Iran, reported an additional two cases.

Muscat was making arrangements to bring back its citizens from the Islamic republic, the foreign ministry said, a day after it suspended all flights to and from Iran.

Oman also announced that it will suspend the import and export of goods from Iran from Wednesday.

The three countries have large Shiite Muslim populations who frequently travel to Iran to visit holy shrines.

The UAE has already announced 13 coronavirus cases, all foreigners, including an Iranian couple who had traveled from Iran.

Kuwait has canceled celebrations for national holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday and also scrapped all sports events to counter the spread of the disease.