Africa

Tunisia builds anti-terror barrier along Libya border

  • 7 February 2016
  • From the section Africa
Soldiers overlook a trench, that forms part of a barrier along the frontier with Libya, in Sabkeht Alyun Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The barrier is designed to be impassable by vehicles

Tunisia says it has completed the first part of a 200km (125-mile) barrier along its border with Libya, designed to deter terrorism.

The barrier is made of sand banks and water trenches.

It was announced last summer after 38 people were killed on a beach by a gunman said to have trained in Libya.

Tunisia's defence minister said the second phase of the project would involve installing electronic equipment with the help of Germany and the US.

Security forces said the defences - which aim to make the border impassable by vehicles - had already helped to reduce smuggling.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The barrier is made out of water trenches and sand banks

"Today we finished closing it off, and this will help us protect our border, and stop the threat," said Defence Minister Farhat Horchani on Saturday.

More than 3,000 Tunisians have left to fight with the Islamic State (IS) group and other Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq but Mr Horchani said many had since returned to join the group in Libya.

Libya has been beset by instability since the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and currently has two rival governments.

IS took control of Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, last year.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The barrier came about with assistance from the US and Germany

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