Tunisian Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub said on Monday the murder of a Tunisian engineer who worked with Hamas had been planned abroad by foreigners, though he admitted that “we do not yet have any tangible proof”, AFP reports.
Speaking to a news conference after attending a security meeting with the prime minister, Madjoub said that the December 15 murder of Mohamed Zaouari had been planned as far back as June in the Austrian capital Vienna and in the Hungarian capital Budapest.
"At least two foreigners" were involved, he said, adding however that authorities have yet to identify who was behind the shooting.
His remarks confirm a statement by the Tunisian government on Sunday, which said that “foreign elements” were involved in Zaouari’s death, without providing any details.
Zaouari, 49, was murdered at the wheel of his car outside his house in Tunisia's second city Sfax on Thursday. He was hit by 20 bullets.
Hamas’s Al-Qassam Martyrs Brigade told AFP on Saturday that Zaouari was a drone expert and claimed he was killed by "Zionist treachery", referring to Israel.
It said Zaouari had worked for the "resistance" for 10 years.
Israel has made no comment about the Hamas accusation.
The prosecution in Tunisia has said that 10 suspects, all Tunisians, have been detained for questioning, including a female journalist, and that authorities have seized four vehicles and two weapons.
Parliament is to meet to discuss the murder of Zaouari, after the government said it was determined to "pursue those guilty of carrying out assassinations inside and outside" the country.