Morocco bans young people from travelling to Tunisia in case they 'slip away' and join jihadists

It has been warned that a growing number of Moroccans are being lured to Libya and Syria

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The Independent Online

Morocco has banned young people from travelling to Tunisia due to jihadist fears, it has been reported.

The Times reports that the Moroccan government has banned all youth group summer visits to Tunisia “over fears that some of the young people might take the opportunity to slip across the border to Libya and train as jihadists.”

Local Moroccan media reports state that the country’s Ministry of Youths and Sports cited “safety reasons” for the ban and said that it had been introduced at the request of the Tunisian government.

It is estimated that some 1,600 Moroccans have travelled to Syria to join extremist groups.

The Moroccan government, which is led by King Mohammed VI, says it has been vigilant against suspected jihadists. In February Moroccan state prosecutors said they had prosecuted twice as many suspected jihadists in 2014 as the previous year. They cited "tensions linked to the situations in Syria and Iraq" as the most likely reason for the increase.

On 4 July, the Tunisian government declared a state of emergency.

Earlier this month, the UK Foreign Office issued a terror warning for Britons considering holidaying in Morocco. They cited a “growing number of Moroccans” joining IS.

Following the 26 June beach shooting atrocity in Tunisia, in which 38 people lost their lives, a number of countries have issued travel bans or travel warning against its citizens visiting the country. The UK Foreign Office has issued a travel ban for Britons visiting Tunisia except on “essential business”.