By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 22 July 2015:
In what appears to be a demonstration of a new toughness after the Sousse and . . .[restrict]Bardo terrorist attacks, Tunisian troops yesterday arrested 16 fuel smugglers after a brief gunfight in the military buffer zone, near the border town of Ben Guerdane.
The men, from both Libya and Tunisia, were seized along with nine vehicles, which the Tunisian news agency TAP said were carrying heavily-subsidised Libyan petrol for sale on the Tunisian black market.
There are other reports that when their convoy was challenged, the smugglers called up armed support from the Libyan side of the frontier. No one appears to have been injured in the exchanges of fire. It is unclear if any of the gunmen managed to escape back into Libya.
Tunisia is currently constructing a fence and ditch along a 220 kilometre stretch of its border with Libya. The idea is to interdict the movement of terrorists between the two countries. However inevitably the new barrier will have an impact on the extensive and lucrative cross-border smuggling trade. [/restrict]