Sunday, March 29, 2015

Leading suspect in Tunisia museum attack killed

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s prime minister says a leading suspect in a deadly museum attack on foreign tourists has been killed in anti-terrorist operations.

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.

Chaieb is believed a prominent militant in al-Qaida’s North African arm, and suspected of leading or helping lead the March 18 attack on the National Bardo Museum.

Najem Gharsalli said Khaled Ben Hamadi Chaieb, also known as Lokman Abou Sakhr, an Algerian, handled the operational end of the March 18 attack. Two gunmen were killed in the attack. Dozens of arrests have been made, five security officials fired and an officer charged with surveying the museum jailed.

Two other Algerians were among nine people killed Saturday by security forces in Gafsa, near the Algerian border, the minister told reporters, saying the leadership of the Okba Ignou Nafaa Brigade, which has killed dozens of security forces, was decimated.

Gharsalli proclaimed the "beginning of the war against terrorism," and revealed that Tunisia has acquired new equipment, "including drones."