Minister: Armed Gang In Tunisia Had Al-Qaida Links

Published February 13, 2012 7:45PM (EST)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's interior minister says an armed group that has clashed with Tunisian forces in the south of the country has links to al-Qaida.

Tunisian forces caught up with a three-man armed militant cell on Feb. 2 and killed two of them after a gunbattle the day before that wounded two soldiers and a national guard member.

Ali Laarayedh said Monday that 12 other Tunisians have been arrested on suspicion of belonging to the group and 34 Kalashnikov assault rifles were seized in a raid. At least nine suspects escaped.

The interior minister alleged the group was in touch with al-Qaida elements in Libya and may have had links with Algerian members of the terror network. He said the information came from confessions from the suspects.

By Salon Staff

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