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Tunisia says drone expert murdered by foreigners

Zaouari helped Hamas develop drones [AFP]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2016

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The Tunisian government on Sunday said that foreigners were behind the murder of a Tunisian engineer, who after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Israel was behind his death.

The Tunisian government on Sunday said that foreigners were behind the murder of a Tunisian engineer, who after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Israel was behind his death.

"The investigations concerning the assassination of Tunisian citizen Mohamed Zaouari and the latest findings have proven that foreign elements were involved," the government said on its Facebook page.

It did not give further details, but said it was "determined to protect all Tunisian citizens and to pursue those guilty of carrying out assassination inside and outside" the country.

Zaouari, a 49-year-old engineer, was murdered at the wheel of his car outside his house in Tunisia's second city, Sfax, on Thursday.He was buried on Saturday.

Al-Qassam Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip, said Zaouari was a drone expert and was killed by "Zionist treachery", referring to Israel.

It said Zaouari had worked for the "resistance" for 10 years.

According to Israel's Channel 2, Zoari was known for his ties with Hamas and was credited with helping the group develop unmanned aerial vehicles. Channel 2 showed what appears to be footage of him working on small drones.

Zoari's murder is a terrorist attack perpetrated by "international satanic forces", said leader of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda Movement Rached Ghannouchi in a statement.

Israel has made no comment about the Hamas accusation.

The Tunisian deputy prosecutor general, Mourad Turki, has said that eight suspects have been arrested in connection with Zaouari's death and that all of them are Tunisian citizens.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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