The Bundestag votes to classify the three countries as safe countries of origin. Major anti-terrorist operations are currently underway there.
Demonstration for the newspaper "El Khabar" in front of the administrative court in Algiers Photo: reuters
While the classification of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as "safe countries of origin" is underway in Germany, the military’s largest counterterrorism operations so far this year are underway in these countries – operations in which, especially in Algeria, bystanders are repeatedly harmed.
In Tunisia, the Interior Ministry reported Thursday evening the arrest of 37 "terrorists" in operations northwest of the capital, Tunis. The members of "nationwide terrorist cells" had been in the process of gathering in Tunis. On Wednesday, four gendarmes were killed in a suicide attack in Tataouine in the south of the country.
In Algeria, the state-affiliated newspaper L’Expression reported on Friday "a week particularly rich in anti-terrorist actions." In the province of Bouira, southeast of the capital Algiers, seven "terrorists" were shot dead Thursday in an army "cordon and search" operation. Accomplices" were also arrested and weapons caches were dug up.
Coincidence or not, the provincial capital of Bouira is a stronghold of protests against attempts to gag Algeria’s few independent media. On Tuesday, journalists had demonstrated in Bouira when the justice minister visited: he wants to prevent the reorganization of the independent newspaper El Khabar by prohibiting investors from entering the business. The verdict in the pending court case was postponed until May 25 following the protests. Until then, Algeria’s pro-government media will continue to write about the war that terrorists seeping in from Libya are allegedly preparing with weapons from Saudi Arabia.