TUNIS, 31 December 2020 – The Tunisian presidency has extended, for another six months, a state of emergency it first put in place in 2015.

The initial state of emergency was decreed shortly after 12 presidential guards were killed in an attack by armed insurgents of ISIL, an affiliate of the terror group al-Qaeda.

That attack was preceded by two others.

ISIL claimed responsibility for an attack at the capital’s Bardo msseum and another at a resort in the coastal city of Sousse.

The official reason the state of emergency, which grants exceptional powers to the country’s security forces, is to support their efforts to hunt down and kill or bring to justice members of the al-Qaeda affiliate.

Rights groups have systematically decried the state of emergency, alleging that it has led to gruesome human rights violations.

A statement by Tunisian President Kais Saied said the extension will stay in place until 23 June 2021.

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