Tunisia extends state of emergency amid fears of extremist threat

Tunisia extends state of emergency amid fears of extremist threat
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi

Tunisian authorities have extended a state of emergency in place since 2015, citing a persistent threat of extremist violence from neighbouring Libya and elsewhere.

The Tunisian president's office announced the three-month extension in a statement on Thursday.

Defence minister Farhat Horchani said this week that despite frequent government operations to dismantle extremist cells, "as long as Libya doesn't have a government that can control the situation, the threat exists".

Tunisia has built a sand wall along half the desert border with Libya, and received six US combat helicopters this month aimed at helping the North African country fight terrorism.

Tunisia was hit by a string of extremist attacks targeting tourists and the presidential guard in 2015, and an unusually high number of Tunisians have joined Islamic State.

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