Algeria deploys 20,000 soldiers to border with Tunisia

Twenty thousand Algerian forces, many from the army’s elite Special Forces unit, have been deployed to provinces bordering Tunisia where Algeria has set up approximately 60 checkpoints and outposts.

Last week, 12,000 of these soldiers were sent to Tebessa, Souk Ahras and El Oued in preparation against terrorist attacks from Islamic militants after attacks on Tunisian security forces in Mount Chaambi near the Algerian border where eight
Tunisian soldiers had been killed.

The Tunisian government released a statement suspecting local militant groups such as Ansar al-Sharia as well Algerian terrorist, Abu Abdulrahmen, to be behind attacks committed against Tunisian military forces.

Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci has said Algeria is committed to assisting Tunisia in its “fight against terrorism,” as Tunisia and Libya have been struggling to control its borders in an effort to retrieve arms and explosives smuggled that are being smuggled to Al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant and rebel groups in the Sinai, Mali and Syria.  It is believed many of these weapons originated from looting Muammar Gaddafi’s stockpile in Libya after he was deposed in August 2011.

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