Hundreds of people gathered outside Tunisia’s parliament to protest against letting jihadists who fought overseas to return to the country.
Protesters in Tunis chanted ‘no to freedom for terrorist groups’ while others held placards saying ‘lock the door to terrorism’ and ‘no tolerance, no return’.
Organisers said 1,500 people attended the rally.
It was held on the same day authorities said they had arrested three alleged jihadists connected to the suspected Berlin Christmas market attacker, Tunisian Anis Amri.
Protestors slammed Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist Ennahda party, who has in the past supported the idea of allowing Tunisian jihadists who ‘repent’ and renounce violence to return home.
President Beji Caid Essebsi said earlier this month that Tunisia would refuse to pardon Tunisians who fight for jihadist organisations.
‘Many of them want to return, and we can’t prevent a Tunisian from returning to his country,’ he said. ‘But we will be vigilant.’
Following a storm of criticism in the press and on social media, on December 15 he told Tunisian local television that ‘we will not be indulgent with the terrorists’.
More than 5,000 Tunisians are fighting for jihadist groups abroad, mainly in Iraq, Syria or neighbouring Libya, according to a UN working group on mercenaries.
On Friday evening, the country’s Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub told parliament 800 Tunisian nationals who had fought for extremist groups abroad had since returned to the country.
Since its 2011 revolution Tunisia has faced repeated jihadist attacks, killing more than 100 soldiers and policemen, as well as about 20 civilians and 59 foreign tourists, according to official figures.
THE BERLIN TERROR ATTACK: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Between 3pm and 4pm: Polish lorry driver Lukasz Urban, 37, has his lorry hijacked. He was on his way back to his truck from a kebab shop when he was ambushed.
8pm – The truck is driven into a large crowd of people at outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the centre of Berlin. Urban’s body was found in the passenger seat after the attackers fled. He had been shot and stabbed, but authorities believe he was alive when the truck ploughed into the crowd. Twelve people were killed and 50 more were injured.
9pm – A Pakistani man is arrested a mile-and-a-half from the scene, after witnesses claimed to have seen him leaving the truck. It was revealed that he had entered Germany under a false name in February.
10.16pm – Controversial far-right activist Lutz Bachmann, who heads the anti-immigrant PEGIDA group, tweeted on Monday night that he had ‘internal police information’ that the perpetrator was a Tunisian.
4am – Police raid a refugee camp at Tempelhof, believed to be where the Pakistani suspect resided.
8am – The suspect is named as Naved B, a 23-year-old man from Pakistan, but police later reveal that the man has denied any involvement in the attack and urged people to be vigilant.
10am – German chancellor Angela Merkel confirms the attack is being treated as an act of terrorism.
12pm – Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, confirms that 18 of the 50 people hurt in the attack were ‘very seriously injured’.
1.20pm – Police admit that they have arrested the wrong man. A senior officer says: ‘The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage.’
6.50pm – Authorities confirm that the wrongly-arrested man has been released.
ISIS claims responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement which describes the lorry driver as a ‘soldier’ and praised him for ‘targeting nationals of the coalition countries’.
It is revealed that police are looking for a Tunisian man, named as Anis Amri, after his ID was found under the driver’s seat. It emerged that the failed asylum seeker, who had a 100,000 euro reward on his head, had been under the surveillance of German intelligence for several months, and had been arrested three times this year, but deportation papers were never served. Reports in Germany suggest intelligence services had lost track of him weeks ago.
A cousin of Naveed Baluch, the wrongly accused suspect, was ‘mentally unfit’ and had not been heard from since he was released. His cousin Waheed told MailOnline he was ‘very worried’ about the missing man.
An Israeli woman became the first named victim of the Berlin lorry massacre. Dalia Elyakim, from Herzliya, Israel, was with her husband Rami when the atrocity happened. Rami was in hospital fighting for his life.
The market where the massacre happened reopened, with heightened security. Stalls on Breitscheidplatz square opened again three days after the 25-tonne lorry was used as a weapon to kill and maim shoppers.
Two of Amri’s brothers, Walid and Abdelkader, said they believed he had been radicalised in prison in Italy, and Abdelkader told reporers: ‘I ask him to turn himself in to the police. If it is proved that he is involved, we dissociate ourselves from it.’
Two men were arrested after a police raid at a mosque in Berlin’s Moabit neighbourhood, where Amri was allegedly captured on CCTV just eight hours after the mass killing.
3am – Amri was shot dead in Milan. He immediately produced a gun when approached by police. In a press conference at 9.45am, the Italian Interior minister, Marco Minniti, said Amri immediately produced a gun when approached by police and shot an officer during a routine patrol. The Tunisian was then killed, and there is ‘absolutely no doubt’ that the man was Amri, Minniti said.
It has emerged that German police are linking Amri to the murder of a 16-year-old German boy in Hamburg two months ago. ISIS claimed responsibility for the October 16 knife attack which killed the teenager, identified by authorities as Victor E. He has also previously been jailed in his native Tunisia for hijacking a truck.
Authorities in Tunisia announce that three men, including Amri’s 18-year-old nephew, have been arrested in connection with a terror cell believed to be linked to the Berlin truck killer.