Suicide Bomber Targets Police Car Near French Embassy In Tunisia
Two explosions have been reported in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis causing ‘multiple casualties’.
The first explosion took place on the busy Charles de Gaulle street, close to the French embassy. The second is believed to have taken place close to the government anti-terrorism agency, in the Al-Qarjani district.
According to the Interior Ministry, one police officer was killed during the attacks, which injured at least one other officer and three civilians.
Witnesses told Reuters how the first suicide bomber had targeted a police car, with a loud explosion heard by those in the neighbourhood.
Award-winning Tunisian journalist, Lina Ben Mhenni, has tweeted about the incident, and stated there has been a ‘suicide bombing targeting a police car’. Mhenni also tweeted about the second alleged incident targeting Tunis’ special anti-terrorist unit.
Tunisia’s interior ministry have said the attacker detonated explosives close to the French embassy shortly before 11 am, local time on Thursday.
Shortly after the first blast, Radio Mosaique reported a second explosion in the parking lot of the government anti-terrorism agency, as reported by the Seattle Times.
Following the blasts armed security forces implemented a security cordon around the areas in question. Traffic has also been suspended on the street.
It is not yet known who orchestrated the attacks, or their motivations.
Ever since President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown 2011, Tunisia has been battling militant groups operating from remote areas close to the Algerian border. High levels of unemployment in recent years has exacerbated unrest within the country.
In 2015, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a mass shooting which targeted civilians and tourists at a Port El Kantaoui resort, leaving 38 people dead.
In October 2018, a female suicide bomber launched an attack in central Tunis, according to The Guardian, injuring 15 people including 10 police officers.
This most recent attack has happened at the peak of the tourist season in Tunis.
Our thoughts are with the people of Tunisia and those affected at this difficult time.
CreditsReuters and 4 others