Tunisia Reopens Its Border With LibyaDecember 14, 2015 in Tunisia
On Friday, 11 December, Tunisia reopened its border with Libya, just fifteen days after it closed the frontier following a suicide bombing in Tunis, which was claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
According to Walid Louguini, a ministry spokesman, “the border with Libya was opened Thursday at midnight.” On the ground sources have reported that the crossing points of Ras Jedir and Wazen-Dhehibe were opened on Friday amidst extra security.
Tunisian officials ordered that the border crossings with conflict-stricken Libya be closed after the 24 November attack on a bus that was carrying presidential guards. The attack occurred along a main thoroughfare in the capital city and resulted in the death of twelve personnel. The attack, which was claimed by IS, prompted Tunisian authorities to increase security and surveillance at its borders and to reimposed a month-long state of emergency as they try to grapple with the increased threat that is emanating from lawless Libya. Shortly after the attack, the interior ministry reported that the explosives used in that attack were the same which were used to make suicide belts that were illegally brought from Libya and seized last year.
This year, IS has claimed three deadly attacks in Tunisia. In March, twenty-two people were killed at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis while in June, thirty-eight people, mainly British holidaymakers, were gunned down at the seaside resort of Sousse. Last week, as part of increased security measures, Tunisian authorities closed the main Tunis-Carthage international airport to Libyan planes. Official sources estimate that as many as 6,000 Tunisians have travelled to fight in Iraq, Syria and Libya, with many opting to join a number of extremist militant groups that are known to operate in the region, including IS.