Tunisian government extends state of emergency for six months
Two suspected terrorist attacks in recent days have put security forces on high alert
Tunisia said it will extend the country’s six-month state of emergency.
The measure has been in place since a 2015 attack claimed by ISIS on a bus carrying presidential guards.
President Kais Saied decided the state of emergency would continue until June 23 next year, the authorities said on Friday.
The action grants exceptional powers to the security forces to control the press, imposes curbs on the press and outlaws strikes and meetings that “create disorder”.
There has been social and political instability in Tunisia in recent weeks, with protests in several regions.
Terrorist activity in the country increased after its 2011 uprising, and dozens of security staff, civilians and foreign tourists were killed.
The 2015 attack in the capital Tunis killed 12 presidential guards and came after two other deadly attacks claimed by ISIS that year – one at the capital’s National Bardo Museum and another in the coastal resort of Sousse.
On Thursday, a man armed with a knife tried to attack a police officer in Tunis, the Interior Ministry said.
Last Sunday, December 20, officials said the decapitated body of a 20-year-old man, whom they believed was the victim of a terrorist attack, had been found in the country’s central Kasserine region.
The mountainous area is also a hideout for the Tunisian branch of the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
A night-time curfew is in place in Tunisia to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 130,000 people and killed at least 4,426 people in the country, according to health ministry figures.
Updated: December 27, 2020 10:30 PM