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TUNIS: The mausoleum in Sidi Bou Said, a prime Tunisian tourism destination, has been ravaged by fire in what is thought to have been an arson attack which the presidency yesterday denounced as a criminal act. “This crime against our culture and history must not go unpunished,” a presidency statement said, urging police to “spare no efforts in arresting the criminals” who set alight the mausoleum on the outskirts of Tunis on Saturday. Interior ministry spokesman Khaled Tarrouche said that an investigation was under way to “determine whether it was an accident or an indictable offence.” Several shrines dedicated to Muslim saints have been torched or looted in recent months in Tunisia, in acts blamed on hardline Salafists whose radical version of Sunni Islam does not tolerate saints or shrines.
Iran hold exercises
in Strait of Hormuz
DUBAI: The naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has held exercises to test new equipment and battle tactics in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Iranian media reported yesterday.
The drills tested the IRGC naval force’s combat-readiness, speed in responding to natural disasters and familiarity with new weapons, the Fars news agency reported. They were the fifth such tactical exercises held by the force and took place near Bandar Abbas, a Gulf port on Iran’s southern coast, Fars said. It did not say when they took place.
Iran’s regular navy, separate from the IRGC’s naval branch, held drills in the Gulf in late December and early January meant to showcase the country’s military capabilities in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes. Agencies