news services
updated 1/12/2007 12:15:53 PM ET 2007-01-12T17:15:53

Islamic extremists involved in a deadly fire fight with police this month had blueprints of foreign embassies and documents naming foreign envoys, Tunisia's official news agency quoted the interior minister as saying Friday.

Interior Minister Rafik Haj Kacem described the extremists as "terrorists" in a closed door meeting with members of Tunisia's governing party, the TAP news agency reported.

“It concerns a group of terrorist Salafists who infiltrated (Tunisia) via the Algerian border,” Rafik Belhadj Kacem was quoted as saying.

“During the investigation, they found images of sites of some foreign embassies. They also confiscated documents containing a few names of foreign diplomats living in Tunisia and a quantity of traditional explosives.”

It was the first time authorities had made available official information on the Jan. 3 confrontation with police that left 12 people dead and shocked this tranquil North African country. Fifteen more were reportedly arrested during the rare gunbattle.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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