Tunisia kills one in raids on suspected militants

Tunisia kills one in raids on suspected militants
Security forces conduct a series of operations on Thursday and Friday, killing one suspected militant and arresting 16 others.
2 min read
24 July, 2015
The Tunisian state is moving against militants after several attacks in recent months [AFP].

Tunisian forces killed one suspected militant and arrested 16 others in a series of operations, the government said on Friday, as lawmakers studied tougher anti-terrorism laws following a spate of attacks.

Security forces launched an operation on Thursday in Sejnane, in the northern Bizerte region, "against terrorists preparing terrorist acts," said the interior ministry.

It added that 13 suspects had been arrested and that one person was killed when they tried to flee the scene.

Another raid was launched on Friday at dawn in the town of Menzel Bourguiba, resulting in three further arrests.

The ministry said weapons including explosives, ammunition and several assault rifles were seized during the operations.

Tunisia has faced a spate of militant attacks in 2015, including a massacre at a Tunis museum in March that killed 22 people, mostly tourists, and a mass killing at a beach resort last month that left 38 foreigners dead.

The attacks, both claimed by the Islamic State group (IS, formerly ISIS), have impacted heavily on Tunisia's vital tourism sector.

Authorities have pledged to crack down on extremism and lawmakers have this week debated a bill aimed at beefing up powers to confront the militant threat.

Parliament on Thursday approved imposing the death penalty for those convicted of "terrorist" crimes, despite opposition from right groups and a de facto quarter-century moratorium on executions.