Tunisia extends state of emergency by three months

A policemen looks through a binocular during a military operation to eliminate militants in a village some 50 km (31 miles) from the town of Ben Guerdane, Tunisia, near the Libyan border, March 10, 2016. (Reuters)

Tunisia on Tuesday extended by three months a state of emergency imposed after a November suicide bombing claimed by ISIS killed 12 presidential guards.

President Beji Caid Essebsi “has decided after consultations... to extend the state of emergency for a period of three months from March 23,” his office said in a statement that came two weeks after another attack blamed on jihadists near the border with Libya.

This month’s attack on police and army posts in the town of Ben Guerdane left seven civilians and 13 security personnel dead. Forty-nine militants have been killed by security forces in clashes immediately following the attacks and in subsequent raids.

The North African country has suffered from a wave of militant attacks in recent years, as it has struggled to curb a rise in extremism since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Last year ISIS claimed responsibility for attacks on the Bardo museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel that killed 59 tourists in total, as well as the suicide bombing that killed the presidential guards.

The state of emergency has been repeatedly extended since November. The last extension, on February 22, was for a period of one month.

Tunisia was Tuesday hosting talks with other countries neighboring Libya on the threat posed by the growing IS presence in the lawless North African nation.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48