Tunisian PM fires security chiefs after attack

2015-03-23 16:35
An image grab taken from the state-run Tunisia 1 channel shows people escaping from Tunis' famed Bardo Museum during an attack by men armed with assault rifles. (Tunisia 1, AFP)

An image grab taken from the state-run Tunisia 1 channel shows people escaping from Tunis' famed Bardo Museum during an attack by men armed with assault rifles. (Tunisia 1, AFP)

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Tunis - Tunisia's prime minister has fired five leading security officials after three gunmen attacked a Tunis museum, killing 21 in the deadliest attack on tourists in Tunisia in 13 years, the government said on Monday.

The ousted officials include the director of Tunisia's tourist police and the police chief for the neighbourhood around the National Bardo Museum, government spokesperson Mufdi Mseddi told The Associated Press.

The decision was made after the prime minister visited the neighbourhood of the attack and noted security problems, the spokesperson said. President Beji Caid Essebsi had also criticised security failings around last week's attack.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for attacking the museum, a trove of Roman mosaics and Tunisia's leading historical museum.

Several well-armed groups in neighbouring and chaotic Libya have pledged allegiance to ISIS. Tunisia is also fighting extremists claiming allegiance to al-Qaeda in its western mountains.

A Tunisian defence official said on Monday one soldier was killed and three others wounded when a mine blew up their vehicle in a mountainous area known to be a refuge for al-Qaeda linked Islamic radicals.

Lieutenant Colonel Belhassen Oueslati, a Defense Ministry spokesperson, said the incident occurred on Sunday in a mountainous region near the Algerian border.

Al-Qaeda linked radicals have staged attacks against army and politicians in the area for the past two years.

Read more on:    north africa  |  tunisia attack

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