French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Monday (September 5th) that "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) fighters could flee to Egypt or Tunisia after being flushed from their former Libyan stronghold of Sirte, AFP reported.
"We should begin to look seriously at the question of the spread of the terrorists" once Sirte is fully cleared, Le Drian told a defence conference in Paris.
"They do not disappear. There is a new risk that appears," he said, adding: "Indirectly this will pose new risks for Tunisia and Egypt."
Le Drian's Tunisian counterpart Farhat Horchani called for effective regional co-ordination, noting that Tunisia has seen a large number of foreign fighters arriving from Sirte, or from Syria.
While the loss of Sirte is a reversal for ISIL fighters, between 5,000 and 7,000 remain in Libya, according to French and US figures.