The Algerian army launched a military operation in three border provinces with Tunisia in order to “prevent the infiltration of terrorists during their pursuit by the Tunisian security forces”. This comes in response to an attack on the members of the National Guard two days ago, according to a security source.
A source affiliated to Algerian security services, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that “since yesterday, nearly 2,000 soldiers have participated in the sweeping of the provinces of Tabessa, Souk Ahras, and el-Oued, which are adjacent to Tunisian territories. The operation coincided with the military campaign launched by the Tunisian army on the opposite side of the border.”
He added that “the main goal behind this military operation is to protect the Algerian territories from becoming a haven for terrorists.”
The source stated that “the process will continue until the end of the military action initiated by the Tunisian security forces to hunt down the terrorist group that is behind the attack.”
He pointed out that “the terrorist group responsible for the attack did not infiltrate into Algerian lands. Both countries have a common a warning system shared between their security agencies, and it is activated immediately after any terrorist act in order to ensure that there is no breach.”
On Sunday, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior announced that the attack, which took place in the province of Jendouba, situated near the Algerian border, caused the death of six members of the National Guard, a security division affiliated of the Ministry of the Interior.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack, Sunday evening, according to a statement reported by Tunisian media.
The attack is considered as the most significant terrorist event taking place in Tunisia since the 7 March 2016 attack on the province of Ben Gardane, located on the southern border with Libya, which took the lives of 12 security and army personnel.
The terrorist aggression comes at a time when the tourist season is undergoing a great recovery. The number of tourists arriving in Tunisia during the first half of this year reached 3.23 million, increasing by 26 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.
Algeria and Tunisia have previously signed several border security and military coordination agreements aiming to “counter the active terrorist organizations located in the region.”