Tunisia arrests al Qaeda suspects carrying bombs
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian security forces have arrested two people suspected of being members of al Qaeda near the Libyan border who were carrying an explosives belt and several bombs, a security source told Reuters on Sunday.
The men, thought to be members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), were arrested near Ramada in the south of the country.
The men were carrying Afghan identity papers and were of Libyan and Algerian origin, the source said, adding that they were also connected to two men arrested in Tunisia last week.
Arab and Western officials have said that al Qaeda could be exploiting the Libyan conflict to acquire weapons and smuggle them into other countries.
A senior security official in Algeria told Reuters last month there were signs al Qaeda was working to acquire arms to smuggle them to a stronghold in northern Mali.
Tunisian authorities have called on the public to report any suspect activity and warned them not to shelter any foreigners who might threaten national security.
The North African country, which is an important destination for Libyan migrants fleeing the conflict, has tightened security along its border with Libya since the start of the unrest, searching cars and questioning people trying to cross.
(Reporting by Tarek Amara, Writing by Sylvia Westall)