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Tunisia labels group as terrorists

TUNIS — Tunisia’s prime minister on Tuesday branded an ultraconservative Islamist group implicated in last year’s US Embassy attack as a terrorist organization with links to Al Qaeda.

Ali Larayedh said in a press conference that the Salafi group Ansar al-Shariah was considered a terrorist organization based on seized documents, confessions, and weapons captured. The designation means that membership in the group is now a crime.

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‘‘There will be no respite in the struggle against terrorists and against those who take up arms against the citizens and institutions of the state,’’ he said. ‘‘We will ensure Tunisians have a future characterized by freedom and well-being.’’

The group is believed to have helped to orchestrate an attack in September on the US Embassy by protesters angered by a US film mocking Islam. Four assailants were killed in the clashes.

The government, led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, has also said members of the group were involved in the assassination of two opposition politicians this year and are cooperating with armed militants fighting the army along the Algerian border.

Larayedh urged members of the group to quit or face prosecution.

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