Tunisia dismantles Islamic State cell planning attack

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FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration of an Islamic State flag

TUNIS – Tunisian forces dismantled a cell linked to Islamic State in the southern city of Tataouine that was planning to attack security and military forces, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Six years ago an Islamic State militant shot dead 39 foreigners on a beach in Sousse, triggering an exodus of tourists and severely damaging Tunisia’s economy.

Since then Tunisia has grown more effective in preventing and responding to attacks, but sleeper cells still pose a threat, especially with the return of jihadists from Syria, Iraq and Libya.

“They planned to carry out terrorist attacks targeting the security and military units on the region (Tataouine), using explosive devices,” the ministry said in a statement.

It didn’t say how many people had been involved in the cell, how it had been detected, or what action was being taken against the suspects.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by David Holmes)