Tunisian forces killed nine militants during a raid in the Gafsa Governorate as part of crackdown following the attack on the Tunis Bardo National Museum that targeted foreign tourists, a Tunisian Ministry of the Interior official said yesterday.
The operations late on Saturday in Gafsa came hours before thousands of Tunisians were expected to join world leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, in a march of solidarity in Tunis.
“Our forces killed nine terrorists in a large operation in Sidi Aich in Gafsa. They also captured arms and explosives,” ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said.
Two assailants killed 21 tourists at the museum about two weeks ago in one of the worst attacks in the North African country, which has mostly avoided widespread violence since its 2011 uprising against former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
A fourth French national died of her wounds following the March 18 attack, the French president’s office said in a statement on Saturday.
Japanese, Polish, Spanish and Colombian tourists were among those killed in the assault, which the government said was aimed at destroying Tunisia’s vital tourism industry.
The Islamic State group has claimed the Bardo attack, but the Tunisian government has said fighters from a local group — Okba Ibn Nafaa, based mostly in mountains bordering Algeria — were involved.
The Bardo attack underscored how extremist loyalties are blurring as they seek a new North African front, especially in Libya, where factional fighting has allowed the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to gain an outpost.
Yesterday, thousands of Tunisians were expected to take part in a solidarity march with French leader Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi among the foreign dignitaries expected to attend.
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: One of the researchers said the discovery would not lead to a ‘complete solution’ and that plastic should not be released into the environment A bacterium that feeds on toxic plastic has been discovered by scientists. The bug not only breaks the plastic down, but uses it as food to power the process. The bacterium, which was found at a waste site where plastic had been dumped, is the first that is known to attack polyurethane. Millions of tonnes of the plastic are produced every year to use in items such as sports shoes, diapers, kitchen sponges and as foam insulation, but it is mostly sent to landfills, because it is too tough to recycle. When broken down it can release toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, which
Tokyo and the Osaka area in western Japan hunkered down yesterday as officials urged people to stay indoors to prevent a potential emergency, but some were carrying on as normal. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s plea for the tens of millions of people in the capital and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, and particularly this weekend, followed a surge in coronavirus infections this week that she said put Tokyo on the brink of an emergency. Koike urged people to avoid the national pastime of congregating to drink and watch cherry blossoms as they hit their peak in the
IN CUSTODY: The alleged ringleader allegedly forced victims to carve ‘slave’ into their bodies and send him degrading images that were shared with scores of others A sexual blackmail ring that operated on the app Telegram and targeted dozens of women, including underage girls, has rocked South Korea and triggered demands for authorities to crack down on the rising number of sexual offences online. Police yesterday took the unusual step of naming the man who allegedly ran an online network that lured at least 58 women and 16 girls into what authorities called “virtual enslavement” by blackmailing them into sending degrading and, in some cases, violent sexual images of themselves. Cho Ju-bin faces charges of violating the Child Protection Act, the Privacy Act and the Sexual Abuse Act,
LEGISLATION PRAISED: The southern jet stream wind system appears to have stopped moving southward and might be moving back to normal, scientists said International cooperation on ozone-depleting chemicals is helping to return the southern jet stream to a normal state after decades of disruption, a study shows. Scientists say the findings prove that there is the capacity to heal damaged climate systems if governments act promptly and in coordination to deal with the causes. The southern jet stream is a powerful wind that shapes weather patterns and ocean currents in the southern hemisphere, particularly in the summer. Up until about 2000, it had been shifting from its usual course and moving southward at a rate of 1° of latitude each decade, affecting storm tracks and rainfall