Tunis, Tunisia - A statement posted Monday on an Islamic website in the name of a militant group promised a fight against Tunisia's president in response to an official ban on women wearing head scarves in public buildings.
The statement purported to come from The Youth of Tawhid and Jihad in Tunisia, a group not previously linked to the country.
The statement suggested the group was involved in a gun battle last Wednesday with the authorities. The Interior Ministry had acknowledged there was a gun battle with police, but did not specify who was involved, saying only that several "dangerous criminals" had been killed, the official TAP news agency reported at the time.
The clash was the second within weeks in Tunisia, where such violence is unusual.
"The mujahideen youth who engaged in fighting with the elements of the despot are a bunch of the best youth in the country... not criminals," the statement said.
"For this, the faithful youth of Tunisia have declared jihad (holy war) and fighting against the despot to stop his harm to the Muslims in general and the veiled Muslim women in particular," the statement continued.