Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

  • Ukraine calls on NATO amid rebel counter-attack

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

Africa

Tunisian police killed by suspected Islamist fighters

© Photo: AFP archive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-23

At least eight Tunisian police officers and two suspected Islamist militants were killed on Wednesday during violent clashes sparked by a raid by security forces near the city of Sidi Bouzid, security sources and state television said.

Suspected Islamic militants killed eight Tunisian policemen in the impoverished centre of the country on Wednesday in violent clashes during a raid. 

Members of the National Guard were met with gunfire at an isolated home in the southern village of Sidi Ali Bououn, where a suspicious group was thought to be hiding, Lotfi Hidouri, a spokesman for the interior ministry, told AP.

At least eight officers and two suspected militants were killed in the ensuing clash and four other policemen injured.

This came just days after security forces killed 10 militants. The militants had been blamed for the killing of two officers in an attack on Tunisian police patrols in a remote area near the Algerian border.

The clash is the latest in a string of attacks on security forces which Tunisian authorities blame on Ansar al-Sharia, one of the Islamist militant movements to emerge since the country’s 2011 uprising.

Officials say the group has ties to al Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate. Two months ago the Islamist-led government declared it a terrorist organisation after blaming it for murdering two opposition leaders.

Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said last week that the group’s leaders have ties with other militant commanders in the region. He said it had profited from the chaos in neighbouring Libya, sending fighters there to train and acquire weapons.

Ansar al-Sharia’s leader in Tunisia is a former al Qaeda fighter in Afghanistan who is accused of inciting his followers to attack the US embassy compound in the capital, Tunis, a year ago.

Other militant groups operating in North Africa include al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), which was scattered earlier this year by the French offensive in Mali.

MUJWA recently said it was joining  another group led by veteran Algerian Islamist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar. He masterminded the attack on Algeria’s Amenas gas plant in January when nearly 40 foreign contractors were killed.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-23

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia launches offensive against Islamist fighters

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia MP ‘killed with same gun as in Belaid slaying’

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    In pictures: Clashes at Belaid’s funeral

    Read more

COMMENT(S)