06/27/2015, 00.00
TUNISIA - ISLAM
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Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosques

President Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.

Tunisi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Prime Minister Habib Essid has declared that within the next week his country will close at least 80 mosques which incite hatred and spread "poison" among young people. The decision is part of a fight against terrorism which once again targeted Tunisia yesterday.

Yesterday morning, a young man posing as a lifeguard, wildly opened fire on tourists on the beach in Sousse, 140 km south of the capital. He then tried to enter the Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel (Spanish owned) and was killed by police. The young man was a student from the region of Kairouan, not registered among dangerous persons.

The toll so far is of 37 dead and 36 wounded. Those killed include Tunisians, British, German, Norwegian, Belgian, French and one Irishwoman.

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Twitter, identifying the bomber as "Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani" and defining the slain "subjects of the allied crusade fighting the Caliphate".

In recent weeks, the Islamic State had urged followers to carry out attacks and die for jihad during the holy month of Ramadan. Almost in response to this call, in parallel with the attack in Sousse, there was an attack in France, one in Kuwait, one in Somalia.

In France, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, about 40 km from Lyon, a man, Yassin Salhi, a suspected Islamic radical, beheaded his employer and tried to trigger a huge explosion at a US owned gas company. two Islamic state flags were exposed alongside the severed head, and writting on the face of the victim.

In Kuwait, during Friday prayers, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque of Imam Sadiq, killing 27 worshipers and injuring 227 people.

In Somalia, al-Shebab attacked  an African Union forces base in Lego, approximately 100 km from Mogadishu. Some witnesses say that there are at least 50 dead.

Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi the said that Tunisia cannot tackle the terrorist threat alone, calling for a unified global strategy.

Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring in November 2011, succeeded in establishing a liberal and democratic constitution, which guarantees freedom to all confessions. At the same time, it saw a growth of Islamic fundamentalism, which undermines one of the most important industries in the country: tourism.

In October 2013, there was a previous attack in Sousse; last March an attack on the Bardo museum with dozens of deaths. Tourism accounts for 7% of the nation's GDP and provides employment for at least 400 thousand people.

 

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