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Algeria, Tunisia to carry out joint military operations against terrorism along the border

July 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Leaders of the Tunisian and Algerian armies have agreed to launch a series of parallel military operations along the border areas as part of a long-term security plan to eliminate terrorist groups from the region, the Addustour news website reported.

The leaders agreed to implement a series of limited military operations in five key areas in Tunisia and in the border area with Algeria.

The decision comes after the Algerian Army received approval from the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika to carry out two operations along the Algerian-Tunisian border.

According to the joint security plan, the operations will target the Kasserine Governorate in Tunisia and the border areas linking the south-west of Libya with southern Tunisia as well as areas of the governorates of Wadi, Tebessa and Biskra in Tunisia and Souk Ahras and Khenchela in Algeria.

A security source told Algeria’s El-Khabar newspaper that the security plans include military operations against specific targets as well as combing some sites and enhancing security measures on the roads, lanes and paths across the border.

According to the source, the timing to launch the combing operation, which will involve at least 8,000 soldiers from the Algerian army elite forces and between 5,000-6,000 Tunisian military personnel, depends on information gathered through aerial surveys of the targeted regions.

The source said the security plan includes preventive measures to curb the Salafist jihadist groups’ activities in the border area and military operations against the armed groups and other activities related to intelligence gathering.

“The security plans include strengthening security control points, sharing information and activating surveillance and aerial surveys on both sides of the border area,” the source explained.

The two sides have also decided to activate security investigations of terrorist recruitment networks in Tunisia and eastern Algeria.

The security agreement includes depriving terrorist groups from their sources of funding and the means to live.

Tunisia is said to have decided to create security cells to prevent Salafist groups from collecting funds, denying their funding sources and monitoring the flow of funds and jihadists arriving from Libya to Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Algeria has tightened its control over the flow of money and smuggling operations between the two countries to prevent its use to finance terrorist activity.