World Tunisia to keep eye on western provinces during polls

Tunisia to keep eye on western provinces during polls

Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou
Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou

Tunisia (AA) – Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said Thursday that the western provinces of his country would be a top security priority during upcoming elections due to ongoing “terrorist” activity in the area.

“The presence of terrorists in the mountains of the western provinces will make them a top priority for police during elections,” Ben Jeddou said during a tour of Tunisia’s northwestern Jendouba province.

He said his ministry would implement a security plan during the elections with the aim of ensuring the success of the polls.  

Tunisia is slated to hold legislative elections later this month, to be followed by presidential polls on November 23.

Ben Jeddou said the ministry’s security plan involved securing the entrances to Tunisian cities, deploying intensive security patrols, and raising the morale of police.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said Wednesday that around 50,000 policemen – in addition to army troops – would take part in securing the polling process.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa referred to “terrorist” threats to the upcoming elections.

Tunisia has been the target of repeated terrorist attacks since 2011.

Attacks have intensified since 2013, especially in Tunisia’s western provinces near the border with Algeria.