Tunisia says 800 returning rebels jailed or tracked

Tunisians rallied outside parliament at the weekend to protest against allowing rebels back into the country.

Tunisia says 800 returning rebels jailed or tracked

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tunisia said Friday it has jailed or closely monitored 800 rebels fighters who have returned from foreign battlefields in the past decade.

"Some are in prison, some are under house arrest and others are under close surveillance", government spokesperson Iyed Dahmani said of the fighters who have returned since 2007.

A little under 3,000 Tunisians have joined the ranks of rebelgroups fighting in neighbouring Libya, as well as in Syria and Iraq, Dahmani said. 

The United Nations puts this figure at 5,000. 

On Thursday, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said all rebels returning from fighting abroad would be immediately arrested and judged according to the country's counter-terrorism law.

Chahed said authorities had "lists of all (Tunisian) terrorists" and "all the data on them".

Last week, Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub told parliament that 800 rebels had already returned from the front lines.

Concern about their return has increased since Tunisian Anis Amri, 24, was identified as the suspected attacker who killed 11 people at a Berlin Christmas market last week, and also killed the driver.

The national union of internal security forces has called on the government to strip Tunisian rebels of their nationality.

But President Beji Caid Essebsi, citing the constitution, has said the authorities cannot prevent a Tunisian from returning home.

Since its 2011 uprising, Tunisia has faced repeated rebel attacks, killing more than 100 soldiers and policemen, as well as about 20 civilians and 59 foreign tourists, according to official figures.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Aralık 2016, 09:01