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Tunisia to call up reservists to secure polls

Tunisia announced plans to call on army reservists to secure upcoming elections and said it will shut down Internet sites suspected of links to "terrorism"

AFP , Friday 8 Aug 2014
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Views: 1025

Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa has authorised finance "to call up army reservists in order to contribute to securing upcoming elections", a government statement said  on Friday.

After months of political wrangling, Tunisia's parliament last month approved October 26 as the date for legislative polls and November 23 for a first round of a presidential election.

Questioned by AFP, a government spokesman was unable to say how many reservists would be called up, or what tasks the army would undertake to ensure that the elections are trouble-free. Jomaa's government will also "take steps to shut Internet sites linked to terrorism, and pursue those who use them," the statement said.

A government source said these measures would target mainly web pages that belong to "takfiri" jihadist militant groups "who incite killings of army personnel and security forces".

Since the 2011 revolution that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been rocked by violence blamed on hardline Islamists who were suppressed under the former dictator.

Security forces have been hunting down Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists since late 2012 in the remote Mount Chaambi region near the border with Algeria.
The militants have launched bloody attacks on the army.

In July, suspected jihadists killed 15 soldiers in the area, the bloodiest day in the army's history.

On Thursday the interior ministry said it had dismantled five "terrorist" groups and arrested 21 suspects who were plotting attacks.

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