Tunisian Police Seize Major Weapons Cache

Friday, 22 Feb 2013 03:05 AM

 

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TUNIS, Tunisia — Police have seized a big weapons cache in Tunis, amid high tension in the aftermath of the assassination of a opposition politician, authorities announced on Thursday.

"Dozens of Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosives were seized in a home in Mnihla destrict," the Interior Ministry said in statement. The raid was on Wednesday night.

On Feb. 6, Tunisia was throwninto its gravest political crisis for two years, when secular opposition figure Chokri Belaid was gunned down outside his home, sending protesters onto the streets across the country.

Since the overthrow of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the uprising that inspired a wave of Arab revolts, the influence of radical Islamists has increased. Secularist groups accuse the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party of being too soft on militants.

Last month another weapons cache was discovered in the southern city of Medenine near the Libyan border and a group arrested which officials described as "terrorist."

Last December, Interior Minister Ali Laryed said Tunisian police had arrested 16 Islamist militants who had been accumulating arms with the aim of creating an Islamic state.

They were linked to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and had been planning to attack security headquarters, he said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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