Tunisia completes construction of major barrier along border with Libya

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Tunisia has completed the construction of a major barrier along border with Libya months after a deadly attack at the National Museum a beach resort in the country that killed dozens of tourists.

According to Tunisia’s Defence Minister Farhat Horchani the completion of the construction of  berms and water-filled trenches marks “an important day” for Tunisia in its struggle against “terrorism”.

He said they have been facing challenges in curbing insecurity since they have been getting it hard at the border.

Two attacks claimed by ISIL last year killed 59 foreign tourists, with Tunisian officials saying the assailants had trained in conflict-ridden Libya where ISIL is active.

“Tunisia is capable of fighting against terrorism in an active and efficient way,” Mr Horchani said during a tour of the barrier.

It stretches some 200 kilometres from Ras Jedir on the Mediterranean coast to Dhiba further south-west, across about half the length of the frontier between the two neighbours.

Mr Horchani said a second phase of the project will include installing electronic equipment with the help of Germany and the United States.

He said the barrier, which Tunisia calls a “system of obstacles”, has already “proven its efficiency”.

“On several occasions we have stopped and arrested people who were trying to smuggle weapons,” he said.

In March last year, 21 tourists and a policeman were killed in a gun attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, and in June an attack at a beach resort near Sousse killed 38 holidaymakers.

ISIL also claimed a suicide bombing in Tunis in November that killed 12 presidential guards.

At the time, the interior ministry said the explosive used in the attack was the same used to make suicide belts illegally brought from Libya and seized last year.

 

 

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