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Algeria and Tunisia agree to fight cross-border terrorism

July 17, 2018 at 9:49 am

Dead bodies of victims who lost their lives on a militant attack in western Tunisia are brought to Charles Nicole Hospital in Tunis, Tunisia on 8 July 2018 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Government officials from Algeria and Tunisia met in Tunis on Wednesday to discuss ways to secure their common border. The move followed an attack on a patrol of the Tunisian National Guard in the border province of Jendouba, in which six soldiers were killed.

According to the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, senior officials of the Algerian security forces met with their Tunisian counterparts during an unannounced visit. The newspaper pointed out that they reviewed the proliferation of armed groups and exchanged all available intelligence, including the identity of active terrorists in border areas.

The officials agreed to develop a new security coordination plan, which aims at eliminating the presence of terrorist groups on the border. A joint military and security operations room will be established, with direct communications between field commanders along the frontier.

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“This will make coordination between military and intelligence operations possible in order to hunt down terrorists,” explained a local source. “Algeria is also working to provide logistical support for the Tunisian security forces stationed at the border, for Tunisia is lacking the means to combat terrorism effectively.”

The anonymous source also highlighted the fact that Algeria’s commitment to support its eastern neighbour stems from its certainty that the ongoing presence of terrorists in the region will spread to affect Algerian territory. It is believed that there were links and coordination between the terrorists who carried out the Jendouba attack last Sunday and those who laid mines in the path of the Algerian army in the border area last February, killing five soldiers.

Algerian Minister of the Interior Noureddine Bedoui has inspected the border area near the scene of the latest attack on the Tunisian National Guard. He insisted that the security of Tunisia is the security of Algeria and vice versa. He also talked about coordination between Algeria and Tunisia in security affairs and stressed his country’s commitment to fight terrorism until it is eliminated.