Suicide bombing in Tunis injures 9

Witnesses said the explosion took place by a police patrol near the busy Palmarium shopping centre, sparking panic in the avenue. 
Monday 29/10/2018
A picture taken on October 29, 2018, shows police and firemen gathering at the site of a suicide attack in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis. (AFP)
A picture taken on October 29, 2018, shows police and firemen gathering at the site of a suicide attack in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis. (AFP)

TUNIS - A woman blew herself up in downtown Tunis’ main Habib Bourguiba avenue on Monday, injuring at least eight policemen and one civilian. 

Witnesses said the explosion took place by a police patrol near the busy Palmarium shopping centre, sparking panic in the avenue. 

“We were ten metres away when it happened,” said Tunisian student Karim Saoudi. “One of the police officers was pushed back across the street (by the explosion).” 

“We were completely shocked. We never would have imagined an attack happening in that spot.” 

Saoudi added that police were quick to respond and clear the area, which was cordoned off Monday afternoon. 

Tunisian Interior Minister Spokesman Sofiene Zaag said the wounded had been transported to Charles Nicole Hospital for treatment. 

A security source told Tunisia’s Mosaique FM that the woman, said to be from Sidi Alouane, a small town in the coastal province of Mahdia, “wore a homemade explosive belt and did not carry a lot of explosives.” 

Local media reported that another individual who was present near the bombing was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack.

The bombing is the first presumed terror attack to hit Tunisia’s capital since November 2015, when a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS killed 12 national guardsmen. 

That attack prompted the government to announce a state of emergency, which has remained in place ever since.  

Earlier in 2015, a terror attack at Tu­nis’s Bardo National Museum and a resort in Sousse killed dozens of mostly European tourists.