Clashes reportedly broke out between protesters and security forces in Ben Gardane (Medenine province) on the nights of Monday, August 27, and Tuesday, August 28 (local time), over the continued closure of the Ras Ajdir border crossing along the Libya-Tunisia border. Demonstrators have claimed that the closure prohibits cross-border activities (i.e. commerce). Some protesters hurled stones at security forces at the town's police station, wounding at least one police officer; security forces reportedly retaliated by launching teargas to disperse the protesters.
Additional protests are possible in Ben Gardane in the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected near demonstration sites. Further clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The Ras Ajdir border crossing has been closed for 1.5 months, after Libya initially closed the border crossing point on July 10. It was temporarily reopened until July 15 after Libyan officials received information that Tunisian smugglers were harassing Libyan citizens and preventing them from reaching northern Tunisia. Libyan authorities are demanding that Tunisia take stronger measures to protect Libyan travelers from such harassment.
Individuals in Ben Gardane are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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