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Tunisia under state of emergency
04 Jul 2015 22:10
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has declared a state of emergency following last week's jihadist beach massacre in which 38 foreign tourists were killed, his office said.
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"The president has declared a state of emergency in Tunisia and will address the nation at 5pm," Mr Essebsi's office said.
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An earlier state of emergency, granting special powers to the police and army, was lifted in March 2014, having been in force since longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in a 2011 revolution.
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Tunisia has faced a surge in jihadist violence since the revolution in which dozens of police and soldiers have been killed.
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The 26 June beach attack was the second deadly attack on tourists in three months, following a shooting rampage at its national museum in Tunis that killed 22 people.
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Three Irish people were among the victims of the shooting on 26 June.
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Laurence (Larry) and Martina Hayes from Athlone, Co Westmeath, were killed as was Lorna Carty from Robinstown in Co Meath.
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On Friday, Prime Minister Habib Essid acknowledged police had taken too long to respond to last week's attack by a gunman at the beach resort of Port El Kantaoui near Sousse.
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"The time of the reaction -- this is the problem," Mr Essid told the BBC in an interview. Police had been "blocked everywhere", he added.
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Several Tunisian officials including the governor of Sousse have been sacked after the jihadist attack.
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Those fired included the governor where the 26 June attack took place, as well as police officials.
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The self-styled Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack by a Tunisian identified as 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui, who pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from inside a beach umbrella and went on a bloody rampage at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel.
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