Great Britain has urged its citizens visiting Tunisia on Friday to leave the country, amidst fears of more jihadist attacks similar to the one which resulted in the death of 38 people at a beach resort last month, out of which 30 were U.K. citizens.
The British government officially called for its citizens to leave the Tunisia, while also blaming the country’s government for not taking enough security measures to prevent further attacks. Many tourists have already left the Maghreb country following the attack, but about 3.000 British tourists are still in the country.
U.K.’s Foreign Office has also advised citizens planning to travel to Tunisia to avoid doing so unless for exceptional circumstances. The threat of another deadly attack in the country has been classified as “highly likely”; all British tourists remaining in the country who went there on package holiday programs were advised to contact the respective travel agencies who will schedule emergency flights back home.
“While we do not have any information suggesting a specific or imminent threat, since the attack in Sousse the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably leading us to the view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.
As a result of the announcement, travel agency Thomas Cook reacted and planned extra flights during the weekend to bring U.K. citizens home. Almost 2,000 U.K. tourists are currently in Tunisia with holiday packages from Thomas Cook.
The claims were disputed by Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, who reacted by saying that his country is taking all of the measures it can to protect U.K. and all foreign citizens on their territory from radical Islamist threats. A state of emergency was announced in the country last Saturday, with extensive security being provided to major tourist sites and hotels.
Two major attacks have happened in Tunisia in 2015, with another March attack at Tunis’s National Bardo Museum ended with 22 dead, out of which 20 were foreign tourists. Essid claimed that more than 7.000 operations and 1.000 arrests were carried against possible terrorists since the museum shooting, while also restricting 15.000 citizens from traveling abroad to join jihadist movements.
The Tunisian Parliament is currently drafting counter-terrorism legislation amidst higher threat of jihadist movements spilling nearby conflicts into the country. The proposals are being criticized for restricting basic freedoms, re-igniting the controversial debate on how much can personal liberties be restricted by a state in the interest of public security.
Image Source: Express UK