Over 1,000 Tunisians took to the streets of the capital Tunis yesterday to protest against the return of Tunisian militants from Syria, Iraq and neighbouring Libya, the Middle East Monitor reports.
President Beji Caid Essebsi has refused to ban the return of the militants arguing that doing so would be unconstitutional.
“We must protect the country from terrorism because we are aware that the country is in danger, it is a purely citizen initiative, a group of people who have love for their country and want to protect that it. We are now in danger, and we want to push the authorities and our deputies to find solutions and measures,” Salma Ktari, the secretary general of the “Ahna Twenssa” (We are Tunisians) association said.
According to authorities around 3,000 Tunisians have travelled to the war zones with around 800 having returned since. Tunisians fear the offensives against ISIS, and ISIS losing their stronghold in places like Libya’s Sirte will force the militants to return home.
Tunisian authorities have arrested several dozen alleged militants in a growing crackdown on extremists in recent weeks after Tunisian Anis Amri was identified as the main suspect in last month’s attack on a Berlin Christmas market.