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EU leaders discuss Tunis attack, Islamist threat in Libya

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EU-parliamentEU leaders said they would discuss Friday the attack in Tunis that left many European tourists dead and how unrest in neighbouring Libya threatens broader European security.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack that left 21 people dead, including two Spaniards, a British woman, a Belgian woman, two French, a Pole and an Italian, authorities said.

The two gunmen involved in the attack on the Tunis museum trained at a militant camp in Libya, the authorities said, where Islamic State and other jihadist groups are present.

“The security situation in Europe has changed” in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told reporters as he joined leaders for the second day of an EU summit.

“It has also changed on the southern borders of Europe with the latest atrocious terrorist attack taking place in Tunisia,” Stubb said.

The 28 European Union leaders were expected to take up proposals already approved by their foreign ministers to prepare a possible EU security mission in Libya once the country’s warring factions agree a national unity government.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has pressed hard on the issue, highlighting the threats to European security of the Islamic State jihadi group gaining a foothold in Libya and an even bigger exodus of illegal immigrants.

Mogherini said Friday that the Tunis attack was also one against Europe and “Europe has to respond.”

“I expect a strong mandate (from the summit) to prepare all possible options,” she added.

The attack in Tunis follows deadly Islamist attacks this year in Paris and Copenhagen as well as police raids in Belgium that authorities said foiled a plot to kill police



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