Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou has said that the jihadists being hunted near the Tunisian border with Algeria have come from Mali.
From Al Arabiya and AFP:
The jihadists being pursued by the army on Tunisia's border with Algeria are veterans from fighting in Mali, where France has intervened against Islamist rebels, Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou told parliament on Wednesday.
“They came from Mali,” the minister said during an open session in the national assembly, without giving more details on the militants for whom the military has stepped its search over the past week.
“I would have liked this to be a closed session to be able to say more,” he told MPs, who were grilling him about the hunt for two groups hiding in the border region that the interior ministry has said are linked to Al-Qaeda.
At the end of last month it was reported that the French-led intervention in Mali has resulted in militants moving into Mali’s neighbors Algeria and Niger, with some making their way to Libya.
While Mali might be free of many of the militants that seized territory in the north of the country Mali’s neighbors will have to continue to deal with militants that have been displaced. At the moment the impact of displaced militants has been comparatively limited, however it shouldn’t be surprising if this changes as the French continue to withdraw from Mali and the Malian government tries to organize elections.