Tunisia: Female suicide bomber targets police officers in central Tunis

A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Monday, October 29, in an attack that is believed to have targeted police.

Interior ministry spokesperson Sofiene Zaag said nine people, including eight police and a civilian, were injured in the explosion on Avenue Habib Bourgiba in central Tunis, AFP reported.

The woman died in the explosion, said Tunisia’s TAP news agency and Matthew Cassel, a journalist at the scene. The interior ministry said she was 30 years old and not a known extremist.

Reports on social media said the woman appeared to have targeted police officers.

The attack was the first in the Tunisian capital since November 24, 2015 when a suicide bombing killed 12 security agents on a bus for presidential guards. That attack was claimed by Islamic State. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Earlier this month Tunisia extended a state of emergency enacted in 2015 after a serious of terrorist attacks.

Islamic State attacks

Since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, terrorist attacks in Tunisia have killed dozens of members of the security forces and foreign tourists.

In June 2015, 38 people were killed in a shooting rampage at the coastal resort of Sousse which targeted tourists, while an attack in March that year on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead, most of them tourists.

The terror attacks claimed by ISIS decimated Tunisia’s crucial tourism sector, which made up seven percent of gross domestic product.

The country has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attack on the bus.

The state of emergency was extended earlier this month until November 6, amid a tense political climate ahead of legislative and presidential elections planned for next year.

In March 2016, dozens of jihadists who infiltrated from neighboring Libya assaulted security posts in the southern region of Ben Guerdane in what Tunisian authorities said was an aborted attempt to declare an “emirate.”

The attack, which went unclaimed, left 20 dead among security forces and civilians.

Calm over the past two years has led to a rebound in the tourism industry, with more than six million foreign travelers visiting Tunisia in the first nine months of 2018, according to government data.

With reporting from AFP


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