Thursday 23 November 2017

Tunisia extends 2015 state of emergency

Tunisia extends 2015 state of emergency
(AFP 11/12/17)

Tunisia on Friday extended for another three months a state of emergency introduced two years ago following a series of deadly jihadist attacks in the North African country.

President Beji Caid Essebsi "decided to prolong the state of emergency across the whole country for three months from November 12", his office said in a statement.

The security measure has been in place since a November 2015 bombing on a presidential guard bus in the capital Tunis killed 12 security service members.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed the attack, as well as bombings earlier in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum and at a beach resort that killed 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian policeman.

Since its 2011 revolution, which sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia's security forces have faced a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed the lives of more than 100 soldiers and police.

The government has repeatedly renewed the state of emergency despite pledges that it was looking to lift it following assurances that security has improved.

At the start of November, one policeman was killed and another wounded in a knife assault outside the parliament in Tunis that was blamed on an Islamist extremist.

The state of emergency hands sweeping powers to law enforcement agencies and in theory allows the authorities to ban strikes or public gatherings and take control of the media.

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