Country Risk

Mountain problem - Religiously motivated violence in Tunisia

05 September 2014

Key Points

  • Factionalisation among Tunisian Salafists heightens the risk that some will start to support attacks inside the country.
  • The return of Tunisian foreign fighters from Syria, Iraq, and Libya, where they receive combat expertise and training, is the primary domestic security concern.
  • So far, the government's strategy to contain the threat has been patchy and lacking in resources or consistent implementation.

On 17 July, 15 Tunisian soldiers were killed and more than 20 injured by radical Islamists in the Chaambi mountains close to the Algerian border. The soldiers were attacked close to a checkpoint by approximately 60 heavily armed militants equipped with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles while they were breaking their fast for the holy month of Ramadan.

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