Tunisia said Thursday that two men, including a suspected member of a jihadist network, had been arrested over an alleged “terrorist” plot to infect security force personnel with coronavirus.
The suspected jihadist is accused of having used his influence over supporters displaying symptoms of the virus, the interior ministry said in a statement.
The other accused, who was already under surveillance and required to report regularly to a police station, said that he was told to deliberately cough everywhere to contaminate officers during his visit, the ministry said.
Tests are being carried out to determine if the second arrested man is infected with the novel coronavirus, the ministry said.
The two men were arrested on Monday in Kebili in southern Tunisia, according to National Guard spokesman Houssem Eddine Jebabli.
Tunisia, which has registered hundreds of coronavirus infections and several dozen deaths, has been under a state of emergency since a string of jihadist attacks in 2015.
Meanwhile Sudanese police fired teargas Thursday at backers of ousted president Omar al-Bashir who demonstrated outside the army command’s headquarters in Khartoum, demanding the fall of the transitional government, witnesses said.
The protesters — who lambasted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s recent austerity policies and higher food prices — rallied in defiance of a ban on large gatherings to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
“Dozens arrived in front of the Armed Forces’ General Command from the east, carrying signs calling for the downfall of the Hamdok government,” an eyewitness told AFP.
“Some (signs) read ‘No, no to the government of hunger’.”
The brief and small-scale protest was quickly dispersed by police, with army soldiers also posted at the site.
The demonstration comes a year after long-time autocrat Bashir was removed from power following large-scale protests.
The popular uprising led to the formation of a transitional political authority, comprised of military and civilian figures.
Thursday’s small rally was the first in which protesters have reached the army’s central command area since last June, when a sit-in protest there was bloodily dispersed.
Sudan has announced a three-week curfew starting Saturday in Khartoum state, including the capital and its twin city Omdurman, after reporting its biggest daily jump in confirmed novel coronavirus cases.
Thirty-two cases of the coronavirus have been officially recorded so far.
Despite Sudan’s political transition, which has raised hopes of more reforms, the economy remains in deep crisis.
Many in Sudan still have to queue for hours to buy bread. (AFP)