Tunisia extends state of emergency


TUNIS, Jul 31: Tunisia has extended by two months a state of emergency it imposed following a terror attack on foreign tourists in the Mediterranean resort of Port El Kantaoui last month.
“After consultations with the prime minister and the speaker, the president has decided to extend the state of emergency in force nationwide for two months from August 3,” President Beji Caid Essebsi’s office said in a statement on Friday.
On June 26, a Tunisian student used an MK-47 assault rifle to kill tourists at a hotel in Port El Kantaoui, near the city of Sousse, to the south of the capital, Tunis.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman was mowing down screaming tourists as they ran for their lives. The gunman, who was ultimately shot dead by police, reportedly yelled to locals to stay away, saying, “I didn’t come for you.”
Among the 38 victims were tourists from Germany, Belgium, and Portugal; however, most of the tourists killed were from the UK.
Essebsi ordered the state of emergency on July 4 for an initial 30 days.
Back in March, 22 people, mainly foreigners, were killed after militants attacked Bardo Museum in Tunis.
Both attacks were claimed by the ISIL terrorist group, which has overrun huge swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
On July 24, Tunisia’s parliament pproved a new anti-terrorism law, which promised death penalty for several terrorism-related offenses in a country that has not carried out an execution since 1991. It also allowed the detention of terrorism suspects for 15 days without having access to lawyers.


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