Millennium Post

Tunisian PM: One gunman known to intelligence ahead of attack

Tunisian PM: One gunman known to intelligence ahead of attack
One of the two gunmen who killed 19 tourists and others at a prominent Tunisian museum was known to intelligence services, Tunisia's prime minister said on Thursday, but no formal links to a particular terrorist group have been established.

The dramatic attack at the National Bardo Museum yesterday was the worst in years in Tunisia and a blow to its young and fragile democracy. It also threatened new troubles for the tourism industry, which brings throngs of foreigners every year to its Mediterranean beaches, desert oases and Roman ruins and had just started to recover after years of slump.

In an interview with France's RTL radio, Prime Minister Habib Essid said Tunisia is working with other countries to learn more about the attackers, identified as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui. They were killed by security services in a raid after they attacked the museum.

He said Laabidi had been flagged to intelligence, although not for "anything special."  Tunisia has faced scattered Islamic extremist violence. Twitter accounts associated with the extremist Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq praised the attack.

Security forces guarded major thoroughfares on Thursday while authorities hunted for two or three attackers believed to have been involved in the attack. Two cruise ships whose passengers had been among the victims pulled out of the port of Tunis early on Thursday.

Tunisia: 9 detained so far

Tunisian security forces arrested nine people linked to the deadly attack on the National Bardo Museum that left 23 dead, scores wounded and threatened the country's fledgling democracy and struggling tourism industry, the president's office said on Thursday.

The statement said five of those arrested were directly connected to the attack by two gunmen while the other four were arrested in the center of the country and part of a cell supporting those involved.
One of the gunmen who killed 23 people, including tourists, at a prominent museum was known to intelligence services, but no formal links to a particular extremist group have been established, the prime minister said on Thursday. The attack yesterday on Tunisia's National Bardo Museum left 23 dead, scores wounded and threatens both Tunisia's fledgling democracy and its struggling tourism industry.


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