Italian interior minister warns on terrorist infiltration from Tunisia

09:26, February 10, 2011      

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Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni warned on Wednesday against possible terrorist infiltration coming from crisis-hit Tunisia.

"I am most worried by criminals escaping from Tunisian prisons in seek of political asylum in Europe who are forced to pass by Italy, and of the risk of terrorist infiltration of al-Qaeda linked regional groups wanting to come here," said Maroni in a statement.

"Unfortunately the outbreak of the Maghreb crisis has raised the urgent issue of containing illegal immigration, especially from Tunisia that is near Italy and lies just 60 nautical miles from our islands," he said.

According to Maroni, the ungovernable situation in the region has triggered social upheavals that are making people flee from Tunisia. "In order to avoid the risk of terrorist and criminal infiltrations, of which there already is evidence, we have intensified safety controls and inspections in sea transport and communications between Tunisia and Europe and we have established contacts with the new Tunisian authorities to closely monitor the situation and identify a common strategy,"said the minister.

Source: Xinhua

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