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Tunisia's army chief Rachid Ammar retires amid criticism

Published: Updated:

Tunisia’s military strongman Rachid Ammar announced his retirement on Tuesday after being criticized over the army’s inability to catch a band of al-Qaeda-linked militants.

During the uprising in 2011, the army’s chief of staff, was seen as having a key role in forcing out dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by banning troops from firing on protesters at the pro-democracy revolt.

However, opposing politicians have recently criticized Ammar for the army’s inability to find the band of extremists near the Algerian border.

According to the Associated Press, Ammar had wanted to retire since 2006 but has been one way or another convinced to stay.

Ammar appeared on state television late Monday to say he had submitted his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki last Saturday.

(With AP)