Tunisia extends state of emergency for further three months

Tunisia extends state of emergency for further three months
Continuing attacks on the Libyan and Algerian borders have led officials to conclude enhanced security measures are still necessary.
2 min read
22 March, 2016
Tunisia's border guards have been on high alert for months [Getty]
Tunisia's official state of emergency will be extended by a further three months, officials announced on Tuesday.

The special measures, which allow security forces extra provision to directly tackle threats to the state will be officially renewed on March 23. The announcement follows several outbreaks of violence on the north African nation's borders with both Algeria and Libya and a November suicide bombing of presidential guards in the capital. 
That attack killed 12 security personnel, and was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi "has decided after consultations... to extend the state of emergency for a period of three months as starting from March 23", his office said in a statement.
Since November's suicide bombing, a state of emergency has been imposed nationwide. The measures are meant to be temporary, but have been repeatedly renewed - most recently, a one month-extension was granted in late February.
The latest attack on the country's security forces in the southern city of Ben Guerdane caused the death of seven civilians and 13 security personnel. Another soldier was report killed when he was accidentally shot by a comrade in the barracks.
Security forces reportedly killed 49 attackers in the gun battle.
Further casualties have been reported over the past two weeks as security forces carried on the hunt for militants.
On Friday night, an armed group attempted to attack a Tunisian checkpoint near the Algerian border.
The attack was successfully repelled by Tunisian National Guards in the town of Sidi Rabeh, Sakiet Sidi Youssef.
No casualties were reported among the security forces. The three militants reportedly escaped after an exchange of fire.
On Tuesday, Tunisian authorities reopened their southern border with Libya after a two-week closure following attacks on Ben Guerdane.
According to the ministry's spokesperson, Yasser Mesbah, both the Ras Jeduir and Dehiba border crossing checkpoints were reopened at 0600GMT. 

Reporting by Massinissa Benlakehal in Algiers.