Tataouine, town in Tunisia that inspired Star Wars, becomes Isis waypoint

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Tataouine, town in Tunisia that inspired Star Wars, becomes Isis waypoint
A man walks in the remains of the Star Wars set in Tunisia // Photograph © Chris Howes/Wild Places/Alamy

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Tataouine, town in Tunisia that inspired Star Wars, becomes Isis waypoint
A man walks in the remains of the Star Wars set in Tunisia // Photograph © Chris Howes/Wild Places/Alamy

Tataouine, the town in Tunisia that helped inspire the Star Wars planet of Tatooine, has reportedly become embroiled in the country’s unrest with Isis.

The town’s simple domed structures became iconic after they were modelled for Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine, and die-hard fans often make pilgrimages to the sets elsewhere in the country. But the town has reportedly become increasingly unsafe, as it is a waypoint for Isis fighters travelling to and from training bases in Libya, 60 miles to the east.

CNN reports that major arms caches have been found in the area this month, one of them with 20,000 rounds of ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, though no formal links with between them and Isis have been made.

Tunisia is on edge after two Isis gunmen stormed into the Bardo museum in the capital Tunis on 18 March, shooting 23 people dead before being killed by security forces. The country has massively stepped up military presence in cities, and created a buffer zone around the border to restrict passage to Libya and Algeria. The two gunmen had been trained in the Libyan Isis base of Derna. ….

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