Tunis, Tunisia - A Tunisian soldier and three civilians died on Sunday night near the border between Libya and Tunisia when two light vans being used by oil traffickers from Libya collided with a Tunisian military vehicle, the spokesperson for the Tunisian Defence ministry, Colonel Mokhtar Ben Nasr, said on Monday.
He said that the accident occurred near the border city of Ben Guerdane. The civilians were a Tunisian and two Libyans. Three other soldiers and five smugglers were injured.
Oil trafficking from Libya has increased in recent weeks after the Tunisian government increased prices of petroleum products which led to protests and clashes.
Fearing a deterioration of the situation, the Tunisian authorities decided to close the border post of Dhéhiba-Wazzen, one of the two crossing points between Tunisia and Libya.
Previous restrictions on the movement of goods and people caused violent reactions from the inhabitants in the border zones in southern Tunisia who live on trade with Libya.