Libya ministry takes control of Tunisia crossing

Tension at the border between Tunis and Libya erupted after a Libyan rebel shot a Tunisian customs official.

Updated: Dec 05, 2011, 20:53 PM IST

Tripoli: Libyan interior ministry forces have
taken control of the key Ras Jdir border crossing with Tunisia
from former rebels who toppled Muammar Gaddafi, a top official
said on Monday.

"Today, I can announce that the control of Ras Jdir has
been taken over by forces of the ministry of interior,"
interim interior minister Fawzi Abdelali told reporters.

He said taking control of the crossing was a "priority"
for Libya as it is "displaying the law of the state."
The crossing, 180 kilometres west of Tripoli, was closed
last week after Tunisian guards stopped work, complaining of
lack of protection against armed and unarmed fighters deployed
on the Libyan side.

On Friday, Tunisia also closed a second border post in
Dehiba after allegations of attacks on Tunisians inside Libya,
and Tunis Air flights to Libya have also been cancelled since
last week.

Tension at the border between Tunis and Tripoli erupted
after a Libyan rebel reportedly shot and wounded a Tunisian
customs official as he forced his way across the Ras Jdir

Voicing "deep concern," Tunis called on Tripoli to manage
its side of the border with professional forces.

The handover at Ras Jdir was "through negotiation. No use
of force was carried out against anyone," Abdelali said,
adding that the former rebels had acted responsibly and kept
order at the frontier.