1,000 extra armed security forces deployed in tourist zones, as Catholic priest warns of isolation

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Tunis – Najem Gharsalli, Tunisian Interior minister, said additional 1,000 armed security personnel had been deployed to hotels, beaches and tourist places.

Gharsalli said on Thursday in Tunis that this was part of security measures put in place to fight terrorism and protect both the citizens and tourists, from a repeat of the last Friday’s terror attack.

“We don’t want to turn tourism establishments into barracks; that’s not our goal. But we must act to guarantee the security of the tourism sector,’’ he said.

Gharsalli warned that anyone who provided any logistical or financial assistance to the attacker, identified as 23-year-old student, Seifeddine Rezgui, would be arrested and brought to book.

“I promise the victims that these criminal killers will be brought before Tunisian justice so that they are justifiably punished,” he stressed.
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He said the gunman, trained in the use of weapon in Libya, carried out the attack claimed by the Islamic State.

The attack left 38 dead, most of them British, in the heaviest death toll in a terror attack ever recorded in Tunisia.

Gharsalli said government would stop all Tunisian men below the age of 35 from travelling to Libya.

The minister said thousands of tourists have left Tunisia since the attack, which has shocked the country that relies heavily on tourism for jobs and foreign currency revenues.

Chokri Nafti, Spokesperson, Health ministry, said the final count after the identification of the last four victims, indicated that 30 British, three Irish, two Germans, a Russian, Portuguese and Belgian each, were killed.

Meanwhile, an official of the Vatican has cautioned on possibility of further incidents in tourist resorts, and cautioned Tunisians to be vigilant.

Rev.Fr. Jawad Alamat, Pastor of Sousse and National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Works in Tunisia, said the extremists wanted to punish Tunisia for its progress in the deepening of democracy in the country.

He said the new democratic course taken by Tunisia would benefit the entire region, otherwise the Islamist danger would strike at the gates of Europe.

“We mourn the victims of this terrible attack against a hotel in Sousse.

“We are in solidarity with all Tunisians who are in turn victims of violence, which is not really what Tunisia is,’’ he said.

Alamat said the time was now to fight the isolation that terrorists wanted to impose on Tunisia.

“We must fight those who want to deprive us of the joy of living and being together,” he said.

A 23-year-old student, Seifeddine Rezgui, last Friday, shot dead 38 holidaymakers and injured about 40 others on the beach of Imperial Marhaba hotel. (PANA/NAN))

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