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Tunisia-Libya border crossing closed due to armed clashes

March 19, 2024 at 4:44 pm

Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole in Tunis, Tunisia [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia and Libya have closed a major border crossing at Ras Jdir due to armed clashes, Tunisian state TV and Libyan authorities have said.

According to Reuters, Libya’s interior ministry said today that “outlaws” had attacked the border, which sees a large flow of Libyans often going to Tunisia for medical treatment and trucks with goods coming in the opposite direction.

“This action carried out by these outlaw groups will not be tolerated, and legal measures and the most severe penalties will be taken against those involved,” the Tripoli-based ministry said, without giving further details.

Libya has had little peace since a 2011 uprising and is split between eastern and western factions based in Benghazi and Tripoli respectively. Rival administrations govern each area.

Unverified footage on social media showed a burning vehicle at Ras Jdir and people running, with the sound of gunfire.

The ministry said on Sunday that it had deployed security forces at the border to combat smuggling and insecurity.

Tunisia’s Tataouine Radio said late on Monday that Tunisia closed the crossing for the safety of citizens travelling to Libya.

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