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Jul 7, 2015

Homegrown jihadists with Libya ties target Tunisia’s democracy

By Patrick Markey and Tarek Amara

SOUSSE, Tunisia(Reuters) – In late 2013, two young Tunisians returned from a jihadi camp in Libya planning to blow themselves up among foreign tourists. It was a spectacular failure – one bomb malfunctioned; the other killed only the bomber on the sands of Tunisia’s Sousse resort.

Two years later, just a few months apart, three more Libyan-trained Tunisian militants succeeded in bringing bloodshed to Sousse and the capital Tunis, gunning down 60 people, mainly tourists, in the two deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

Jul 4, 2015

Tunisia’s president declares state of emergency after hotel attack

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the Islamist militant attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners had left the country “in a state of war”.

Last week’s attack, three months after the deadly Islamist assault on the Bardo museum in Tunis, has shocked the North African country emerging into a democracy following its 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising.

Jul 4, 2015

Tunisia’s president declares state of emergency after hotel attack

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the Islamist militant attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners had left the country “in a state of war”.

Last week’s attack, three months after the deadly Islamist assault on the Bardo museum in Tunis, has shocked the North African country emerging into a democracy following its 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising.

Jun 30, 2015

Bullet holes and empty beaches: the bleak outlook for Tunisia’s tourism

SOUSSE, Tunisia, June 30 (Reuters) – Tunisian shopkeeper
Aghmi Bubaker doesn’t need to be told that he is experiencing
the worst threat yet to his forty-year career in tourism – the
bullet hole in his battered green Mercedes Benz is a daily
reminder.

Last Friday when a gunman attacked the Imperial Marhaba
hotel in Sousse in the name of Islamist militancy, Bubaker
rushed dozens of holidaymakers into his store until the shooting
- in which 39 foreign tourists were killed – was over.

Jun 29, 2015

Tunisia arrests suspects associated with beach hotel attacker

SOUSSE, Tunisia (Reuters) – Tunisian authorities have arrested a group of suspects associated with the gunman who killed 39 people, mainly British tourists, in a beach hotel attack claimed by Islamic State, the interior minister said on Monday.

British interior minister Theresa May, as well as French and German counterparts, visited the site of the attack near the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the resort town of Sousse, laying flowers on the beach. She promised Tunisia help in security, intelligence, police training and to help keep tourism alive.

Jun 28, 2015

Tunisia beach attacker; from rap fan to killer

GAAFOUR, Tunisia (Reuters) – On Wednesday, Saif Rezgui sat down with friends in his Tunisian hometown to chat about his favorite soccer team, girls and his break-dance skills over coffee and cigarettes.

On Thursday, he met up with his uncle in Gaafour, catching up on family matters, on a break from his master’s studies in the nearby historic town of Kairouan.

Jun 15, 2015

Questions shadow U.S. strike on veteran Algerian jihadist in Libya

ALGIERS (Reuters) – He lost an eye in Afghanistan, was earlier reported dead in fighting in Mali and now Libya says he was killed in a U.S. air strike at the weekend. But is the Algerian jihadist dubbed “The Uncatchable” for his decades-long elusiveness really dead?

U.S. officials have yet to confirm Libyan reports that Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in eastern Libya, saying on Monday only that the F-15 jet raid appeared to have succeeded but stopping short of confirming his demise.

Jun 5, 2015

Mali govt, rebels agree security deal as step to peace accord

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Mali’s government and Tuareg-led rebels agreed on a ceasefire in a strategic town and on more political guarantees on Friday, steps towards a U.N.-brokered peace accord to end decades of uprisings in the northern region the separatists call Azawad.

Western powers are pushing for a conclusive accord in Mali, fearing that continued instability will allow Islamist militants to return to the north, from where a French military intervention drove them out in 2013.

Jun 5, 2015

Mali government, rebels agree security deal as step to peace accord

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Mali’s government and Tuareg-led rebels agreed on a ceasefire in a strategic town and on more political guarantees on Friday, steps towards a U.N.-brokered peace accord to end decades of uprisings in the northern region the separatists call Azawad.

Western powers are pushing for a conclusive accord in Mali, fearing that continued instability will allow Islamist militants to return to the north, from where a French military intervention drove them out in 2013.

Jun 3, 2015

Libyan unity talks resume as U.N. warns that time is running out

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Libyan politicians and activists resumed talks on Wednesday, aimed at forming a unity government to end the power struggle between two rival administrations that mediators fear could turn the North African country into a failed state.

Libya’s neighbors and Western governments say the talks are the only way to resolve a conflict between the two governments and their armed forces battling for control of the OPEC oil producer where Islamist insurgents have exploited the chaos.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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