Tunisia PM: Leading suspect in museum attack killed
TUNIS, Tunisia — A leading suspect in a deadly museum attack on foreign tourists has been killed in anti-terrorist operations, Tunisia's prime minister said on Sunday.
State news agency TAP cites Prime Minister Habib Essid as saying that Khaled Chaieb, also known as Abou Sakhr Lokman, was killed overnight in an operation in the Gafsa region near the Algerian border. In all, nine terrorist suspects were killed in raids around the country.
Chaieb is believed a prominent militant in al Qaeda's North African arm, and suspected of leading or helping lead the March 18 attack on the National Bardo Museum.
The Tunisian government called on all major political parties to join the march from the seat of government at Bab Es-Saadoun to the museum.
The international visitors are showing solidarity with Tunisia, whose fragile new democracy was deeply shaken by the museum attack.
Tunisian protesters unleashed revolts across the region known as the Arab Spring, and Tunisia is the only country to have built a democratic system as a result.
Authorities are struggling with scattered extremist violence linked to various radical Islamic groups, largely linked to neighboring countries Algeria or Libya.
Interior Ministry spokesman Ali Aroui said Sunday that nine suspected "terrorists" were killed when security forces clashed with the suspects in the southwest region near the Algerian border. He said several extremists were wounded in another clash in the northwest region of Kef, as part of security operations around the country ahead of the march.
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