Tunisia hotel shooting: Mosques accused of 'extremist preaching' to be shut down amid security clampdown

The move is part of a string of new security measures made as thousands of tourists fled the country

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The Independent Online

Tunisia is to close about 80 mosques accused of extremist preaching as part of a security clampdown in the country following last week’s devastating attack.

Thousands of holiday makers have been fleeing the north African country since the worst terrorist attack Tunisia has seen left 38 people dead after a gunman opened fire on a beach in Sousse. Fifteen Britons are so far confirmed to have been killed in the attack.

Prime Minister Habib Essid called the fight against terrorism a “national responsibility” and promised financial rewards for information leading to terrorists.

 

In a swathe of new security measures, Essid said that political parties and associations espousing radical beliefs and with suspicious funding would be closed down. He added that around 80 mosques which are known for extremist preaching will also be closed.

Tunisian army reservists are to be called up and deployed to tourist sites around the country, specifically inside hotels, while hotels themselves have been told to do more in terms of their own security efforts.

“The fight against terrorism is a national responsibility,” Essid said. “We are at war against terrorism which represents a serious danger to national unity during this delicate period that the nation is going through.”

Tourists crowded into the airport at Hammamet near the coastal city of Sousse following the beach attack, in which a man dressed in shorts pulled an assault rifle out of his beach umbrella and opened fire.

The attacker was killed by security forces. He was identified as student Seifeddine Rezgui, who attended Kairouan University in Tunisia. Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The shooting came on the same day that a suicide bomber killed 27 people in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, and a man was found beheaded in an attack involving an explosion at a warehouse in south-eastern France. Isis has also claimed responsibility for the attack in Kuwait.

Additional reporting by PA

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