Tunisia attacks were planned in Libya: minister

A Tunisian policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Tunis, Tunisia November 25, 2015.

A Tunisian policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Tunis, Tunisia November 25, 2015.


A series of attacks in Tunisia claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that killed dozens of people including foreign tourists was planned in neighboring Libya, a top official said Friday.

The group has said it was behind a suicide bombing in the centre of Tunis on Tuesday in which 12 presidential guards died.

ISIS also claimed two attacks earlier this year at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis and on a hotel near the Mediterranean resort of Sousse that killed a total of 60 people, all but one of them foreign tourists.

“Everything is being planned in Libya,” Tunisia’s secretary of state for national security, Rafik Chelly, told private Mosaique FM radio.

“The commanders of Tunisian terrorist groups are in Libya,” he added.

Tunisian authorities have detained 30 people suspected of having extremism links after the bombing, and identified the bomber as a local street vendor.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that forensic police identified the attacker as 27-year-old Houssam ben Hedi ben Miled Abdelli by his DNA. It said he was from a working class neighborhood on the edge of Tunis.

ISIS claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack on a bus in central Tunis, which left 12 dead plus the attacker.

In a previous statement, the ministry said it detained 30 people suspected of links to extremist groups and seized several weapons in 526 raids around the country over the past 24 hours. It didn’t say whether any of the suspects had ties to the attack.

The blast shook Tunisia and its fragile young democracy after two attacks on tourist sites this year by Islamic radicals that killed 60 people.

A disgruntled Tunisian vendor set himself on fire in 2010, sparking a nationwide uprising that overthrew the president and led to revolts across the Arab world.


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