Middle East

Tunisia offers amnesty to some extremists

A handout picture released by the Tunisian Presidency on May 6, 2014, shows Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki (L) greeting soldiers during a visit in Tunisia's restive Mount Chaambi border region, where Tunisian forces are stationed as part of an operation against Islamist militants. AFP PHOTO / HO / TUNISIAN PRESIDENCY

TUNIS: Tunisia's president has offered amnesty for Islamist fighters whose hands aren't stained with the blood of others, saying the "door of hope and repentance is open."

President Moncef Marzouki made the offer during a visit Tuesday to Mount Chaambi where extremists have been fighting security forces near Tunisia's border with Algeria.

The amnesty offer resembles one contained in Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's 2005 National Reconciliation Charter that lured thousands of Islamic insurgents home, although some rejoined comrades in arms.

Marzouki, addressing Tunisian jihadis, said, "You are fighting an imaginary enemy" and death won't lead to martyrdom. He said the offer applies only to those who haven't killed.

Security forces have tracked for more than a year extremists holed up at Mount Chaambi, with more than a dozen soldiers killed.





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