Tunisia will not deploy troops abroad as part of Saudi-led coalition: Interior minister

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Dec 2015

Tunisia Interior Minister
File photo of Tunisian Interior minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli.(Photo: AFP)

Tunisia's participation in the Saudi-led coalition to combat terrorism will not include deploying troops outside its territory, Tunisian Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli was quoted as saying by Egyptian agency MENA on Friday.

The Saudi-led 34-state Islamic military coalition, which was announced on Tuesday, includes Arab and African countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Qatar and the UAE, along with other Muslim-majority countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan.

The Saudi statement on Tuesday morning cited "a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organisations, whatever their sect and name, which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorise the innocent."

During a National Guard ceremony, Gharsalli stressed that Tunisia's top priority is to combat terrorism inside the country and on its borders.

He added that Tunisian authorities are on alert to halt any terrorist threats during the celebrations of the Moulid El-Nabawi (the birth of Prophet Mohammed) on 23 December, and on New Year's Eve.

Tunisian authorities announced a state of emergency for the second time following a terrorist attack on a bus belonging to the president's security entourage which killed 12 people on 24 November.

Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings, has been hit by three terrorist attacks this year alone.  

The earlier attacks, at the capital's National Bardo Museum and on a hotel beach near the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, left a total of 60 people dead. The three attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group. 

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