Tunisia reopens Libya border following attacks

Border is reopened two weeks after deadly militant attack on Tunisia's eastern city of Ben Guerdane

Tunisia reopens Libya border following attacks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tunisia has reopened its border with Libya two weeks after an attack by militants that killed scores of people in the eastern city of Ben Guerdane. 

In a Tuesday statement, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said the Ras Ajdir, Wazzin and Zahabiya border crossings with Libya had all been reopened in both directions. 

At least 68 people, including 49 attackers and 12 security personnel, were killed when militants attacked an army barracks and several security posts in Ben Guerdane earlier this month.

The attack ignited an intense firefight with security forces that continued sporadically into the following day. 

In the wake of the attack, the Tunisian authorities closed the country’s border crossings with Libya and imposed a curfew on the city. 

- Economic toll - 

The crossing closures have taken an economic toll on many Ben Guerdane residents, most of whom rely on cross-border commerce to make a living. 

"I lost my job after the border was shut," local resident Faisal al-Joweli, 28, told Anadolu Agency. 

"My only source of income depends on cross-border trade," added the young man, who sells fuel across the Tunisian-Libyan border. 

Conceding that cross-border commerce "bears many risks", al-Joweli called on the Tunisian government to work on creating more employment opportunities for citizens. 

"The Tunisian government should establish development projects so people aren’t forced to make a living from border commerce," he said. 

In an effort to stop militants from entering its territory, Tunisia has built a 200-kilomenter (roughly 125-mile) barrier along its border with Libya, which has been plagued by chaos and war since the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mart 2016, 14:18