Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tunisian Minister: “A Foreign country is intent on destabilizing Tunisia”

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012   No comments


Arab Spring News Digest:
On February 4, and two days after the Tunisian security forces killed two members of an armed group and arrested a third, the Education minister accused a foreign country of “pumping large sums of money to destabilize the country." Moucef  Ben Salim, minister of higher education and member of Ennahda, made his accusation in Sfax, the scene of the deadly clash that left a policeman and three soldiers wounded, one of them critically, according to the state news agency. He said the Interpol is conducting an investigation to track the source of funding for "terrorist groups."

The incident took place in the southern region of Bir Ali Ben Khalifa. Ali Laaridh, Interior Minister, described it as “serious.” The armed group, consisting of three “bearded men” opened fire with assault rifles at a checkpoint then escaped into a nearby olive forest. Police announced that they found weapons and lists of names of people from all over the country in the get way car.

The interior minister indicated that police seized more than 600 weapons in 2011, believed to be coming through Libya. Many Tunisians accuse some of the Gulf States of using Tunisia to arm radical Salafi Libyan groups that participated in the overthrow of Qaddafi. Many Tunisians protested the Qatar rulers interference in the region. Others are angry because Saudi Arabia refuses to handover the former dictator, Ben Ali. The presence of the Salafis in Tunisia, generally seen as a Saudi influenced movement, as an attempt to spread Saudi ideology in North Africa.

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