Tunis, November 14, 2011 (MAP)
Tunis, November 14, 2011 (MAP)
Tunisian security services arrested on Sunday night 11 Moroccans following acts of vandalism and violence taking place at the Cartage International airport in Tunis, said spokesman of Tunisia’s Interior Ministry Hicham Moaddab.
The incident occurred only 24 hours after Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca spectators were subjected to assault and violence, following the second leg of the African Champions League final between Tunisia’s Esperance and Wydad on Saturday at the Rades Stadium, by some Tunisian cops who used truncheon and tear gas, leaving many Moroccan fans wounded.
The arrested people were among the 150 passengers, mostly Moroccans, who were about to take the plane of the Moroccan flag-carrier Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca, said Moaddab.
Brawls unleashed between the passengers before degenerating into acts of vandalism that affect equipments of the airport’s waiting room, including computers and chairs, added the same source.
He said that 43 security staff “intervened to control the situation, but they were attacked by trouble makers who were in a state of intoxication.”
Several security staff were wounded in these incidents, said the same source, noting that a cleaning woman and two employees of Tunisia’s airlines, who were attacked, have been taken to the hospital.
Security forces managed to control the situation and arrested 11 people, 9 of them were brought before the prosecution. Two people under 18 were released, said the Tunisian official.
Morocco’s ambassador in Tunis Najib Zerouali Ouariti, from Sunday night, have made contacts with the Tunisian authorities about the arrested Moroccans in order to elucidate the circumstances of this incident, said sources of Moroccan embassy to Tunisia.
Speaking about the assault by some members of the Tunisian police on Moroccan fans in Tunis, Moaddab said “firm instructions had been given to security guards not to respond to provocations from the spectators.”
He said that a group of Moroccan fans “who were in a state of intoxication,” attacked security officers, adding that with the exception of one Moroccan who was wounded and taken to hospital, no Moroccan supporter was hit at the Rades stadium.
He denied that security services resorted to “excessive use of force against Moroccan spectators,” stressing that Tunisian cops were obliged to use tear gas in order to avoid the worsening of the situation and the increase of acts of violence and vandalism.
Ambassador Najib Zerouali Ouariti told MAP news agency he officially demanded from Tunisia’s Interior Minister, via Tunisian Foreign Ministry, to open an investigation following the assault.
Morocco’s Youth and Sports Minister Moncef Belkhayat also strongly regretted assault against Moroccan spectators after the game.
Belkhayat had said he would follow this case with his Tunisian peer, Salim Chaker, and Morocco’s ambassador in Tunis to clarify circumstances of these acts and take the necessary measures so that these assaults will never happened again.