On Sunday, August 19, Tunisian security forces launched a counterterrorism operation in Kasserine province which was reportedly ongoing as of Monday, August 20. According to a military spokesperson, the operation's aim is to uncover and neutralize terrorist groups operating in the area. Artillery shelling was reported in Kasserine on Sunday. Heightened security measures are anticipated in the area in the coming days and weeks. Clashes between militant groups and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The threat from terrorism in Tunisia is considered high and a near-constant state of emergency has been in effect nationwide since June 2015. Some 3000 people left Tunisia to fight for militant groups in Syria, Iraq, and Libya in recent years. Some have since returned to the country, prompting security forces to frequently carry out security operations targeting suspected terrorist cells.
Due to the terrorist threat, individuals across Tunisia are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities, particularly when visiting sites deemed especially likely to be targeted in an attack (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.). Certain Western governments advise against travel to the south of the country (i.e. regions on the borders with Algeria and Libya) due to the presence of armed groups.
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