Tunisia says its war on 'terror' has cost $4 bn

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi said in Doha on Thursday that his country’s battle to fight “terrorism” has cost it around $4 billion diverted away from the country’s economy.
“The war against terrorism has cost Tunisia a lot, about $4 billion,” Essebsi told reporters in Qatar, at the end of an official three-day visit to the Gulf country.
“It could have been invested in economic matters but unfortunately in this situation it was necessary to give a priority to fighting terrorism and achieving security.”
Essebsi added that there was “no future” for political Islam in the country.
Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, has suffered from a wave of jihadist violence since its 2011 uprising which saw dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ousted.
Tunisia was hit by a series of deadly Islamic State group (ISIS) attacks last year on foreign holidaymakers and security forces that killed dozens and dealt a devastating blow to its lucrative tourism industry.
At the same time, thousands of Tunisians have joined jihadist movements including ISIS in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

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