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Al Qaeda to support anti-govt protest in Tunisia
Rome, Jan 16 (IANS):
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 11:05 PM IST
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The North African wing of Al Qaeda has released an audio tape, expressing support for the anti-government protesters in Tunisia and urging them to send their children to terrorist camps for weapons training.
In the 13-minute message posted to jihadist websites, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leader Abu Musab Abdul Wadud purportedly urges Tunisians to overthrow President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia since 1987. A mass uprising which began amid protests over unemployment, food prices and corruption had forced Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia Friday.
“Send your children to us for training on how to use weapons and to get military experience,” said the message.
According to human rights groups, more than 60 people have died in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tunisia since mid-December last year.
The former speaker of parliament, Foued Mbazaa, was sworn in as interim president of Tunisisa Saturday. The Al Qaeda tape has called on all Tunisians “to bring down Ben Ali’s corrupt, criminal and tyrannical regime” and introduce Islamic law in the North African country.
US SITE intelligence said the message also praised anti-government protesters in neighbouring Algeria, where youths took to the streets to protest rising prices of staples like sugar and cooking oil.
Tunisia has come under increasing pressure from the US and other nations to curb its violent response to the month-long protests.

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