Tunisia’s government said it will build a wall along its border with Libya to prevent the infiltration of Islamist fighters following a beach front attack that killed 38 tourists.
The wall, that will cover about a third of the 500 kilometer (310 miles) border, will be ready by the end of the year, Prime Minister Habib Essid said in a television interview Tuesday. The government has already started construction, said Essid, although he warned that protecting the border would be “difficult, very difficult.”
While Tunisia has escaped the worst of the unrest that swept through Libya, Syria and Egypt since 2011, the violence is hurting an economy struggling to recover after the uprising that toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The barrier is one of the measures Tunisia has announced to counter the threat of Islamic militancy that has targeted the tourism sector, which accounts for about 7 percent of the country’s economy. A month-long state of emergency was declared on July 4.
The Tunisian government has said that the gunman who carried out the attack in the Sousse resort last month was trained in Libya. Perpetrators of another fatal shooting at the country’s main museum in March also came from the war-torn neighbor.
The Islamic State branch in Libya claimed responsibility for both attacks.
For more, read this QuickTake: Libya's Breakdown