Tataouine — Colonel Major Mokhtar Ben Nasr, the National Defence Ministry official spokesman, asserted that "the six terrorists whose vehicles were destroyed by the military aviation on June 20, in the open desert, fled to the Libyan territory," adding that "no further information is available in this regard."
Joined by phone by TAP news agency, Colonel Major Ben Nasr said that the Tunisian Sahara had been declared "a closed military zone" and that any person wishing to get there via the five crossing points set up by the National Army should have a prior authorisation.
"This permit," he explained, "is mainly delivered to workers in the Sahara, tourists and foreigners who will then be watched over and protected by the Army in order for them not to get lost."
He added that over 5,500 tourists had already visited the Tunisian Sahara last May.
"There is no reason to be alarmed about our oil fields and the situation is under control," he reassured.
Besides, Colonel Major Ben Nasr said that "the illicit trafficking routes across the Sahara are far away from us," pointing out that three infiltration operations which had been recorded on the Tunisian soil and had been foiled are "isolated incidents."