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TUNISIA has completed a 125-mile razor-wire barrier along its border with Libya to try to keep out Islamist militants.

The tiny North African state - which has so far managed to deter Islamic State militants from establishing a solid base in the country - also plans to install electronic monitoring systems, Defence Minister Farhat Hachani said.

ISIS militants trained in jihadist camps in Libya carried out two major attacks in Tunisia last year.

Libya's chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 has allowed Islamic State to gain a foothold there, with the terror group establishing a North African ‘capital’ in the Mediterranean port city of Sirte. 

Tunisia’s latest efforts to stop the militants sneaking across the desert and highly porous border includes an earth wall and trenches dug a little more than a mile from the Libyan border.

The new defences will stop land vehicles packed with fighters, weapons or other contraband from entering Tunisia. 

European and American military experts will soon train Tunisian forces to improve electronic surveillance with cameras and radar, Mr Hachani announced on a visit to the border.

He said: ”Today we finished closing it off, and this will help us protect our border, and stop the threat.”

Security forces said the defences had already helped to reduce smuggling.

More than 3,000 Tunisians have left to fight for ISIS - also known by its Arabic acronym Dash - and other Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq.

But Tunisia’s defence minister now worries that many have returned to North Africa to join the group in Libya.

Since its own democratic revolution in 2011, Tunisia has been praised as a model of democracy, with free elections, a new constitution and a politics of compromise between secular and Islamist parties.

But last year's two major attacks, on a museum in Tunis and a beach hotel in Sousse, dealt heavy blows to its tourist industry, and risked throwing the country’s peaceful transition to democracy off course. 




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