Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has said that the fight against terrorism in North Africa is still strong. While on a visit to Morocco, Habib said that Tunisia’s border with Algeria has been nonporous.
At the same time, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that close to 2,000 prospective jihadists have been barred from the conflict zones in 2016.
“In the first quarter of 2016, some 1,877 people from Tunisia have been prevented from joining jihadist organizations in the conflict areas,” said Yasser Mesbah, the communications officer at the Tunisian Interior Ministry.
He later was quoted on air on private radio saying that most jihadist recruits are mostly young people aged between 20 to 23 years.
In the first quarter of 2016, some 1,877 people from Tunisia have been prevented from joining jihadist organizations in the conflict areas.
Tunisia has several thousands of citizens in the ranks of extremist organizations in Iraq, Syria and neighboring Libya, making it one of the main countries affected by extremism.
‘‘Since the Libyan crisis began, Tunisia opened its doors to nearly 2 million refugees from Libya and has borne this burden for almost a year to enable Egyptians, Turks and South Koreans return home,’‘ said Habib.
33 terrorist cells have been destroyed since the beginning of the year, while some 1,733 raids on suspected terrorist hide outs have been made according to Mesbah.
Since the 2011 uprising in Tunisia, jihadist movements have sprung up.
In 2015, the country was hit by three bloody attacks that left 72 dead, attacks whose responsibilty was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.