Guards Fire Shots as Crowd Threatens to Storm Border

Border guards in Libya fired warning shots to keep a crowd back that was trying to enter neighboring Tunisia as they were fleeing the ongoing conflict inside Libya, said an army officer from Tunisia.

An official from Tunisia was wounded when a stray bullet near the Ras Jdir border crossing hit him. The crossing was closed shortly after the incident took place.

The foreign ministry in Tunisia urged an estimated 60,000 nationals living in Libya to exit the country as quickly as possible, due to the violence raging there for the past two to three weeks.

The ministry urged Tunisian citizens to get in touch with consular offices in Benghazi and Tripoli to make their repatriation easier.

The army officer from Tunisia said guards from Libya had opened fire to make the hundreds of people retreat from the border crossing as they were forcing their way across.

The ministry said the head of the national security was hit with a bullet in the leg from the Libyan side of the crossing.

One news correspondent in Tunisian said the gunfire was heard from the side of Libya late Friday morning leading to the closing of the crossing.

The Egyptians were using force to get through, and security in Libya fired, said the Tunisian officer, if they cross he added we too will fire.

Tunisian forces used tear gas to keep the crowd back. The closing of the crossing was just temporary said a spokesperson from the interior ministry of Tunisia.

Tunisia sent reinforcements to handle any further incident and to stop fighters or weapons from getting into the country from Libya.

The ministry said approximately 6,000 people were stranded on Libya’s side of the crossing.

Tunisia has let its citizens through and some Libyans that have proper paperwork, but have barred Asian and Arab foreigners unless they or someone from their government arranged repatriation immediately.

Amidst the confusion, rumors surfaced that Libyans had fired into the crowd and that people were killed, but no one could confirm that on the Tunisian side of the border.

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