Tourists are being warned to stay away from the Tunisian desert town of Tataouine–the inspiration behind Tatooine in the Star Wars movies.
The town has become essentially a hub for militants associated with ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, who are traveling from Tunisia to Libya, reported CNN.
Parts of Tataouine appeared in the Star Wars films, and it is namely used as the backdrop for Luke Skywalker’s home planet. Some Star Wars fans have made the trek to the remote town as a type of pilgrimage.
— les inrocks (@lesinrocks) March 25, 2015
According to CNN, large quantities of weapons have been found in the area. At least 20,000 rounds of ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers were seized, it said..
Tunisia has been on alert after gunmen stormed a museum in the capital, Tunis, killing 23 people. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy issued a warning about traveling to Tunisia:
U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution and avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should monitor local events, report suspicious activity to the local police, and take appropriate steps to bolster their own security. The U.S. Embassy reiterates our standing guidance that U.S. citizens in Tunisia should exercise caution when frequenting public venues that are visited by large numbers of foreigners, such as hotels, shopping centers, and tourist sites and restaurants. U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility of kidnapping.
Travelers contemplating trips to the interior of the country should assess local conditions and routes when making travel plans. In particular, all travel south of the designated military zone in the south must be coordinated in advance with Tunisian authorities. Also, travel to either border should be avoided if possible given the periodic security incidents along the border regions.