Siliana clashes: the death toll mounts

Colonel Taher Ayari father of Yacine Ayari-Blogger and activist

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights there were 219 people killed and 510 wounded during the violence following the fled of Ben Ali, 14 January. A loss, that responsible people haven’t been yet held accountable for.

Instead here comes news of clashes that took place in Siliana early morning of May 18th. The controversial part of news being: an armed group suspected first then confirmed to be Al-Qaeda-Maghreb, also called “Aqmi” composed of three Tunisians, four Algerians and three Libyans, according to Al Jazeera, came into confrontation with soldiers at the North Western’s Tunisian city Rouhia (Siliana).

The score would be three deaths in the ranks of our army:
Colonel Taher Ayari father of Ayari Yassine, a blogger and activist. Caporal Sghaier Mbarki and Walid Hadji, according to Al Jazeera and then state TV.

Walid Hadji

Another member of the army is wounded and so a resident of the town of Siliana- got shot in the arm.

Two terrorists were killed and the rest of the armed group in possession of grenades and Kalashnikovs has been arrested.

According to people there, the confrontation continues and the army is sweeping the area to get their hands on the rest of the alleged terrorists.

Helicopters and reinforcements were sent in to hunt down terrorists in the mountains of Dahmani.

The frustrating part in this sick scenario that both Aljazeera and the local media are playing to make everyone convinced that Al-Qaida has started it’s movements in Tunisia.

The minister of Interior spokesman said on Aljazeera that DNA and ID examinations of the bodies indicates that the terrorists are definitely from Al-Qaida (!).

Al-Chrouk, a daily Tunisian newspaper dedicated it’s first page to reveal that she got all Al-Qaida’s plan exposed!! While the rest of the media invented the story of a third terrorist who’s still out there representing danger.

Al-Chorouk front page- 20 May

This news comes during the visit of the Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi to Paris 9 days prior the G8 gathering and where he expresses that Tunisia’s first priority is to restore security.

A number of questions remain unanswered here:

If Al-Qaida members wanted to get to Libya from Algeria, why would they choose to pass through Tunisia knowing that there are many military checkpoints on the Tunisian roads and also knowing that Algeria and Libya do share borders.

Second, it’s so fishy that high ranked Army men get killed at the shared taxies stations. Usually commanders remain behind their desks monitoring the battle field and giving orders to soldiers on the ground. But in this case we have 2 high ranked Army members killed?!

The only explanation that we could think of is, that this interim government and the shadow one are desperate to make Tunisian believe that we’re under attack and therefore the elections won’t take place as planned on July 24th and though the interim government becomes a permanent one till security is gained again!

The second scenario is that this is an indirect sign to cyber-activists (taking in account that Colonel Taher Ayari is the father of one of the top activists and bloggers Yacine Ayari) to shut up!

To be noted also that online freedom of expression is yet not totally granted with 4 facebook pages newly censored already, founder of Kasba TV Mohamed Amine Slama arrested and another cyber activist: Youssef Patriote getting ready to move to Germany as a political refugee (First Tunisian refugee since January 14th!).

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One thought on “Siliana clashes: the death toll mounts

  1. Vous avez de bons points il, c’est pourquoi j’aime toujours verifier votre blog, Il semble que vous etes un expert dans ce domaine. maintenir le bon travail, Mon ami recommander votre site.

    Mon francais n’est pas tres bon, je suis de l’Allemagne.

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