Algerian security forces say they have uncovered an Israeli spy ring operating in the south of the country and arrested 10 people on Friday, according to Arab media reports.
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Lebanese television channel Al-Mayadeen said the suspects were detained in Ghardaia Province and are citizens of various African states, including Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Liberia and Kenya.
The report also claimed that electronic and communication equipment used by the suspects was seized during the raids. Al-Mayadeen said the suspects were transferred to Algerian security agencies for interrogation, in order to establish what they were doing in the country.
Algeria’s Annahar newspaper reported that the 10 were arrested over allegations of fueling chaos and insecurity.
Last month, Tunisian media reported that Mohammed al-Zawahri, an aviation engineer specializing in drones, had been murdered in the city of Sfax, southern Tunisia. Unknown assailants shot him at close range.
Tunisian journalist Burhan Basis stated on his Facebook page that the Mossad was behind the assassination of the Tunisian national. Basis added that Zawahri had been living in several countries in recent years and maintained close ties with Hamas.
Basis claimed the link between Zawahri and Hamas’ military wing was forged during his long sojourn in Syria. His involvement with drones allegedly led to his surveillance by Mossad. According to Tunisian media, he had been out of the country during the last months of his life and had returned to Tunisia just four days before the assassination. Basis claimed he was returning from Lebanon.
Following the December 15 assassination, the Tunisian government issued an official announcement stating it was closely following the case, and that foreign agents were responsible.