Two Bombings Rock Tunisian Capital Amid Political Turmoil

Cheryl Sanders
June 28, 2019

Thursday's attacks come during peak tourist season and several months ahead of elections.

The bomber targeted a police patrol on the main thoroughfare of Charles De Gaulle Avenue, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

An Interior Ministry statement said a municipal police officer called Mehdi Zammali was wounded and then succumbed to his injuries. The second bomber blew themselves up near a police station in Al-Qarjani district.

The first attack struck at 10.50am (09.30 GMT) local time with the second coming ten minutes later, an interior ministry spokesperson told the AFP news agency.

Heavily armed police cordoned off the locations of the attacks, one of which was about 200 meters away from the French embassy. According to the Interior Ministry, nobody has been killed in the explosions.

The violence revived fears for the stability of the North African state, which is seen as a rare democratic success story of the Arab Spring uprisings but has been hit by repeated Islamist attacks. They chanted the national anthem and slogans praising the security forces.

The elections will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians can vote freely following the 2011 revolution that toppled autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled for 23 years.

Government troops have been battling militant groups in remote areas near the border with Algeria, while high unemployment has also stoked unrest in recent years. Two people were allegedly injured in the attack including two policemen, while the attacker was killed in the explosion. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Tunisia has been struck repeatedly by terror attacks, threatening the country's relative political stability in the region. The bombings coincided with news that the country's ailing president, Beji Caid Essebsi, was hospitalized in critical condition for unspecified reasons.

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