Alwaght- Tunisia has renewed a state of emergency in place since a 2015 terrorists attack amid an increasing threat posed by ISIS terrorists returning from Syria and Iraq.
President Beji Caid Essebsi has decided "to extend the state of emergency for three months from 16 February", the president's office announced Thursday.
The state of emergency grants emergency powers to the police and in theory grants authorities the right to prohibit strikes and meetings likely to provoke "disorder".It also allows measures "to ensure control of the press".
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed told local radio station Mosaique FM Wednesday that the state of emergency would be "definitively lifted in three months".
Defense Minister Farhat Horchani added that there had been a "major improvement" in the security situation. "But as long as our situation is linked to Libya and as long as Libya does not have a government that is in control of the situation... the threat exists," he said.
The state of emergency has been in place since a November 2015 extremist bombing in Tunis that killed 12 presidential guards on a bus.
ISIS Takfiri terrorist claimed the attack as well as bombings earlier in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum and at a beach resort that killed 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian guard.
Last December Tunisia’s interior minister, Hedi Majdoub, told parliament that 800 Tunisian nationals who had travelled abroad to fight for armed groups in other countries have since returned to Tunisia.
The United Nations estimates that there are more than 5,000 Tunisians fighting for armed groups, mainly in Iraq, Syria and neighboring Libya.
Tunisia's security forces have urged the government to adopt "exceptional measures" to deal with potential security threats from fighters who have returned to their home country.
"The return of terrorists from hotbeds of unrest in Tunisia is worrying and could lead to the Somalisation of the country," said a statement from the internal security forces' national union.