Tunisia's president calls for donations to combat terrorism

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi called on his compatriots to donate money to fight terrorism as the country struggles against an Islamist insurgency.

Essebsi made the appeal on Saturday as he showed up at a post office in the capital Tunis to offer a donation to a newly created fund to raise money for the cause.

He donated one month of his salary, Tunisia's state news agency TAP reported.

He urged Tunisians at home and abroad to make donations "in support of military and security institutions as well as the national efforts combatting terrorism," according to the agency.

A nationwide campaign is underway, encouraging state employees and individuals to donate to the fund.

The move comes a week after deadly clashes between Tunisian security forces and insurgents believed to be linked to the Islamic State terrorist militia.

Some 69 people, including 49 militants, were killed in the clashes that took place in the town of Ben Guerdane near the Libyan border, according to government figures.

The violence in Ben Guerdane started on Monday when gunmen attempted to seize military and police facilities there.

The unrest prompted Tunisian authorities to close the border with restive Libya and impose a night-time curfew on Ben Guerdane.

Tunisia, widely seen as the sole democratic success story of the 2010-11 Arab Spring uprisings, has experienced a series of fatal attacks during the past year.

Some of those attacks were claimed by Islamic State, which is active in Libya.

Last update: Sat, 12/03/2016 - 17:08

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