Thursday, October 1, 2015 12:39 pm
Tunisian troops seized arms and documents bearing the symbol of Islamic State from two cars near the Libyan border, as security tightened following two major attacks this year, officials said on Thursday.
“Troops seized 10 Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, Libyan telephones cards and documents” in Wednesday’s incident, an official in Tunisia’s Interior Ministry told Reuters.
The vehicles themselves were rigged as car bombs. The cars were dismantled, the official said.
In March, Islamist gunmen killed 21 tourists in an attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, and 38 foreigners were killed in an assault on a Sousse beach hotel in June. Islamic state claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Last month, Tunisian authorities warned of possible car bombings in Tunis and banned traffic in parts of the city after getting intelligence reports about potential attacks in the capital.
Tunisia’s government last July also started building a wall along its border with Libya to stop Islamist militants slipping across the frontier from training camps in Libya, where Islamic State has gained ground in the country’s chaos.
Four years after its uprising ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired the “Arab Spring” protests, Tunisia has a new constitution, free elections and a coalition government with secular and Islamist parties.
But more than 3,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamist militant groups in Syria, Iraq and neighboring Libya. Some of those jihadists have threatened to return home and carry out attacks on Tunisian soil.