ISIS claims murders of Tunisia politicians

An ISIS militant wanted by Tunisian authorities for murder speaking next to fellow militants from an undisclosed location under the extremist group's control and claiming the 2013 twin assassinations of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi. (Screengrab)

Militants, who have seemingly joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed twin murders of secular politicians in 2013, in a video that has gone viral on social media sites on Thursday.

“Yes, tyrants, we’re the ones who killed Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi,” Abou Mouqatel, a militant wanted by the authorities for their murders, said in the video in which he appeared with several others.

It was not clear where the video was filmed but Abou Mouqatel claimed they were in an area under the control of ISIS, which now controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

“We are going to come back and kill several of you. You will not have a quiet life until Tunisia implements Islamic law,” added the militant, whose real name is Abou Bakr al-Hakim.

Belaid was killed on Feb. 6 last year, while Brahmi was murdered on July 25, in twin attacks blamed by the authorities on the extremist Ansar al-Sharia group that had not previously been claimed.

The killing of Belaid triggered deadly protests and a political crisis that brought down Islamist prime minister Hamadi Jebali.

The murder of Brahmi intensified the crisis, and threatened to derail Tunisia’s post-Arab Spring transition until a compromise government was formed in January this year.

The authorities estimate that as many as 3,000 Tunisians have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight with extremist groups including ISIS, and have expressed concern that some will return to carry out attacks at home.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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