A Tunisian-born former Islamist fighter has fled prison in Bosnia, triggering a nation-wide manhunt by forces concerned about the threat he poses to security, authorities said Wednesday.
Karay Kamel bin Ali, a Tunisian-born volunteer in the Muslim army during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war, had failed to return to the jail in the central town of Zenica from authorized leave, prison chief Nihad Spahic said.
"Police and border police were immediately informed that he is on the run," Spahic told AFP.
Better known in Bosnia by his nom de guerre Abu Hamza, he had been entitled to leave the prison based on good behavior while serving more than half of his sentence. He did not return as due on Monday.
Bin Ali was detained in 2007 and sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison for robbery, acts of violence against his family and for making threats against a prosecutor.
Like many Mujahideen fighters in Bosnia's war, bin Ali had obtained the citizenship of the ex-Yugoslav republic by marrying a local woman, but lost the status on the grounds he poses a risk to national security.
Bin Ali was to be deported from Bosnia once he sees out his term, according to a security ministry spokeswoman.