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Tunisian police hunt women wearing niqab

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Tunisian Ministry of the Interior announced it would strengthen the control of people wearing the full veil, to deal with terrorist risks, a decision which does not give rise to controversy in the country.

A week after the entry into force of the new Tunisian Constitution, Monday, February 10, the country deals the niqab. Friday, the Interior Ministry announced an "enhanced control" of women wearing the full veil. "This measure was taken because of recorded terrorist threats in the country and due to the suspect use of niqab [...] to disguise and escape from justice," the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. The authorities call for the "understanding of all" to "help security units do their job."

This announcement is explained in the light of recent events. On February 10, police arrested a Salafi, member of a jihadist movement sought for eight months for various violence acts. The man was hiding under a burqa. Before other men were arrested while they were using the same scheme. Since 2011, Tunisia is facing the rise of jihadist groups accused of murders, including the murder of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi last year. Twenty soldiers and members of security forces were also killed in 2013 during clashes or by bombs by suspected jihadists. In early February, a policeman was killed in a terrorist operation in which several suspects were shot near Raoued in the suburbs of Tunis.

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