Tunisia says breaks up militant cell linked to ISIS

Police officers secure the area where a bus exploded Tuesday in Tunis, Wednesday Nov.25, 2015. (AP)

Tunisian police have broken up a cell recruiting fighters for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Libya and Syria, authorities said on Wednesday.

Tunisia declared a state of emergency after a suicide bombing killed 12 presidential guards on a bus in the capital Tunis in November.

That followed major gun attacks targeting foreign tourists at a Tunis museum and a beach hotel, both of which were claimed by ISIS.

“Our special forces counter-terrorism unit dismantled a cell which included nine extremists in Bizerte who were actively recruiting young people to send them into areas of trouble,” the interior ministry said.

It said those arrested had admitted recruiting for ISIS in Libya and Syria.

Tunisia, mostly a haven of stability since its 2011 revolt against autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali, is increasingly being challenged by Islamist militants, who have hit army patrols and checkpoints as well as carrying out major attacks.

Several thousand Tunisians are fighting with ISIS and other groups in Iraq and Syria. The gunmen in the Sousse and Bardo Museum attacks all trained at militant camps in Libya before returning to their home country.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49