Video claims responsibility for Tunisia killings

By Bouazza Ben Bouazza, Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 18, 2014 at 1:21 p.m.



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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A new video has surfaced with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility for the 2013 assassinations of two Tunisian politicians.

The armed, bearded men in the video also condemned this Sunday's presidential elections in Tunisia, called on Tunisians to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, and vowed vengeance on security forces.

Mohammed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid of Tunisia's left-wing Popular Front coalition were fatally shot by men on motorcycles in 2013, provoking a government crisis. At the time, the government blamed Ansar al-Sharia, a Tunisian radical group with links to al-Qaida.

Tunisia's Interior Ministry has accused French-born Boubakr Hakim of being involved in both attacks and of pulling the trigger in the case of Brahmi. On Thursday, the ministry confirmed that Hakim appears in the video, which surfaced on social networks late Wednesday.

"We don't fear these terrorists because they represent nothing to us," said ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui.

Hakim fought against U.S. forces in Iraq and later helped manage a Paris-based network to funnel fighters to Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was jailed in France in 2008 before being released and heading to Tunisia in 2011.

The video was shot outside in an undisclosed location and featured the black flag of the Islamic State group.

Tunisia's radicals had previously been linked to al-Qaida, suggesting that some of them have now switched their allegiance to the rival Islamic State group.

Islamic extremists have carried out attacks against Tunisian security forces over the past two years.

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Bouazza Ben Bouazza

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