Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has announced that Tunis plans to build a 100-mile long wall on the country’s Libyan border in an attempt to deter and prevent jihadists from attempting to infiltrate the state.
The Tunisian Prime Minister’s announcement comes following a devastating terror attack on a beach resort in the country, which resulted in the deaths of 38 people, many of whom were British nationals. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but Tunisian officials told the BBC they believed Ansar al-Sharia in Libya had helped train the shooter. Essid said he believes that the terrorists are purposely targeting Tunisia’s vital tourism industry in an attempt to destabilize the government.
Following the attack, Tunisia declared a state of emergency and deployed more than 1,400 soldiers to guard the country’s resorts and beaches, the BBC reported. In addition to the troop mobilizations, eight people have been arrested on charges that they helped the shooter, Seifeddine Rezgui, carry out the deadly attack.
Essid told state television that the military would be delegated with the responsibility to build the wall, and that it would be constructed with several areas designed to improve surveillance capabilities. Overall, the fence will cover about one-third of Tunisia’s border with Libya, Essid said.
The threat of terrorism from Libya has become “the biggest dilemma” facing Tunisia, said Essid in his address. He hoped that the construction “will be over by the end of 2015.”
Still, the Prime Minister warned that protecting his country remains a “difficult, very difficult” endeavor.
In March, jihadi militants carried out a deadly attack in the National Bardo Museum, killing 22 people in the country’s capital city of Tunis.