Tunisia on April 2 accused Turkey of facilitating the transit of fighters bound for neighbouring Syria and Iraq, where thousands of its citizens have joined the ranks of jihadist groups.

The accusation by Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche comes just two weeks after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on tourists at the Bardo National Museum.

Tunisia says 3,000 of its citizens are fighting alongside jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and that 500 battle-hardened veterans have returned to the country where they are considered a security threat.

“We have asked our ambassador in Turkey to draw the attention of the Turkish authorities to the fact that we do not want a Muslim nation such as Turkey to help directly or indirectly terrorism in Libya by facilitating the movements of terrorists,” Baccouche said.

He said Turkey was a “passage point” for fighters who go to Syria or for those who travel to Libya and then infiltrate across the porous border into Tunisia.

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