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Tunisia: Interior Ministry Seizes Turkish Weapons Smuggled from Libya

Tunisia: Interior Ministry Seizes Turkish Weapons Smuggled from Libya

Thursday, 9 January, 2020 - 11:30
Image showing the 35 assault rifles seized during the operation (Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)

Tunisian authorities have seized Turkish-made weapons smuggled from Turkey to Libya, which were bound for Feriana, Kasserine, a region infiltrated by terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), announced Interior Ministry spokesperson Khaled Hayouni on Wednesday.

The security units seized the weapons from a vehicle in Beni Khedache, Medenine Governorate, in an ambush.

A source indicated that five people were arrested. However, Hayouni preferred not to disclose the nationalities of the smugglers to preserve the confidentiality of the case.

Hayouni stressed that the weapons seized were not buried under the dirt, as some media outlets promoted. He also announced that five people were arrested in connection with the seized arms, according to Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).

Caretaker PM Youssef Chahed visited the Directorate of the Investigating Police at El-Gorjani announcing that the seized weapons were meant to be used for terror attacks on sensitive sites in Tunisia.

In details, police in Medenine seized 35 assault rifles and large amounts of cash in an operation carried out in coordination with the judicial police and other units.

In addition, two men and two women were detained in relation with the operation. Two other men were also arrested for monitoring the road which the vehicle used during its attempt to smuggle the weapons.

Authorities also arrested a fifth man in Kasserine district in connection with the operation, after coordination between the Prosecutors’ offices in Medenine and Kasserine.

Earlier, Interior Minister Hichem Fourati said all measures have been taken in anticipation of any development on the Tunisian-Libyan border, stressing the deployment of security units and the army along the coast and on the country's eastern border.

“All measures have been taken to prepare for any possible infiltration of terrorists on Tunisian soil,” he said.

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