Islamist terrorists have been targeting North African countries for decades.
WESTERN TUNISIA – Tunisia is a rare bastion of democracy and stability in MENA (Middle East North Africa). That geographically-defined area is not known for either of the aforementioned attributes: when was the last time someone said to you: “Hey! Let’s copy what they are doing in the Middle East!” Not recently I’d wager.
And yet for all its pluses Tunisia does suffer a few minuses. It does live in a dangerous neighbourhood in which violent extremist groups have infiltrated from Algeria and Libya and its security forces are kept hopping. It has suffered from bad governance and an ailing economy. It may be a great place for Europeans (especially Brits) to go for the beaches on cheap holidays but I imagine few of its visitors want to stay.
And it is the site of several terrorist attacks over the years. I covered many in my upcoming Intelligent Look at Terrorism podcast on terrorism in Africa so have a listen there. One of those is today’s featured attack.
Two Tunisian soldiers were killed and at least another two wounded in a roadside explosion near the border with Algeria, the latest then in a series of attacks on soldiers pursuing Islamist terrorists along the border. The group responsible was believed to be the Al Qaeda (AQ) affiliate in the region: AQ in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
One may contest whether an attack on soldiers constitutes an act of terrorism. Many would say that victims must be civilians and that this attack is thus not of a terrorist nature. Regardless, AQIM IS a terrorist group.
Tunisia may be better off than many of its nearby nations but it, like most countries, is not immune from terrorism