Tunisia seizes arms haul near border with Libya

AFP , Monday 9 Mar 2015

Tunisian security forces on Monday uncovered a second arms cache in three days near the border with Libya, the interior ministry said.

"As part of ongoing operations against terrorist cells and their members... (security forces) have discovered a new weapons cache 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Ben Guerdane" in the southeast, it said.

The cache included 20 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and various types of rockets, 40 anti-tank mines, detonators, grenades and 23,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition.

A similar find was made in the same area on Friday.

The Libyan border is a hotbed of trafficking of all kinds, including of fuel, manufactured goods and foodstuffs.

The chaos that has engulfed Libya since the 2011 conflict that led to the fall and death of Muammar Gaddafi also resulted in increased weapons smuggling along its porous border with Tunisia and Algeria.

Fighting inside Libya between rival militias and the emergence there of the Islamic State group this year has also caused fears in Tunis of a cross-border spillover.

Tunisia itself has also seen a rise of armed Islamist groups, with 60 soldiers and police killed in attacks or clashes attributed to jihadists since 2011.

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