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    Tunisian special forces stand guard at the Habib Bourguiba Avenue in the capital Tunis on November 18, 2015.

    Tunisia to Boost Arms Procurement to Combat Terrorism - Envoy to Russia

    © AFP 2019 / FETHI BELAID
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    Tunisia's government will boost expenditures on the country's military and security capabilities.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tunisia's authorities have decided to boost government expenditure on the country's military capabilities in order to withstand the terrorist threat, Tunisian Ambassador to Russia Ali Goutali said Friday.

    "Tunisia has devoted very little attention to developing military production and procuring arms. We have devoted much more attention to education and the social sphere. Now, however, we must increase our expenditures on the military and on security…We are forced to do this, we must strengthen our armed forces for successfully countering terrorism," Gutali said during a press conference at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

    Tunisia has seen increased terrorist activity since the 2011 Jasmine Revolution toppled the country's long-time leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali.

    On March 18, 2015, a group of gunmen killed 22 tourists at the National Bardo Museum near the parliament building in the capital Tunis. Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Daesh militants have carried out a suicide attack in the country in August, killing 38 holidaymakers on a beach in the town of Sousse.

    In November, a Daesh bomb hit a presidential guard bus in Tunis. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared shortly a state of emergency saying the country was at war against terrorism. Late December, the state of emergency was extended for another two months.

    Tunisia has also been the leading country of origin for extremist recruits for Daesh. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence has placed Tunisia next to Saudi Arabia in terms of the number of citizens involved with radical jihadist organizations in Syria and Iraq, estimating the number to be between 1,500 and 3,000. Throughout late 2015, Tunisian security forces have made scores of arrests, detaining Daesh ecruiters.


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