TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's presidency has announced the closure of its southern regions bordering Algeria and Libya to protect against the threat of terrorism.
Presidential spokesman Adnan Mancer said the closure would last a year and could be shortened depending on the situation. Tourists and traders seeking to enter the closed areas would require permission from local authorities.
Kasserine, near the Algerian border where troops have been fighting militants in the mountains, would be included. The measures are sure to further impact these impoverished regions suffering from high unemployment and surviving largely on cross border trade and smuggling.
After the fall of the regime in neighboring Libya, weapons flowed across the desert, falling into the hands of militants. Dozens of militants are believed to be in the mountains near the Algerian border.