BEIRUT

Middle East

German woman killed in Tunisia: ministry

A Tunisian border policeman stands guard at the border crossing of Ras el-Jedir Ben Guerdane, southeast of Tunis August 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi)

BERLIN: Germany said Tuesday that one of its nationals had died in a tense region of Tunisia, after Tunisian officials said police had killed two women at the weekend, mistaking them for members of an armed group.

"The Foreign Ministry must unfortunately confirm that a German national was fatally injured in Kasserine in Tunisia," a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

"The German embassy in Tunis is in contact with the relatives as well as the appropriate authorities and is seeking swift clarification," she added.

According to the German Bild daily, the woman had dual German-Tunisian nationality, was aged 24 and was accompanied by her cousin who also died.

The Tunisian Interior Ministry said Tuesday that an internal security patrol was stationed by the roadside in Kasserine, in central-western Tunisia, "after a citizen supplied information about an armed group heading for the town."

"A car went past at high speed" and ignored warning signals and shots in the air.

"It carried on going, causing the officers to open fire, wounding two young women in the car, who later died," it said in a statement.

It did not give the women's nationalities.

A cousin of the women, Ashraf Hendiri, told an AFP correspondent in Kasserine that he was also in the car and that the driver refused to stop, fearing the people by the road were "terrorists."

Kasserine is at the foot of Mount Chaambi, where the army has for more than a year and a half been hunting down a jihadist group blamed for deadly attacks on security forces.

 

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