TUNIS: A woman suicide bomber blew herself up Monday near police vehicles in the centre of the Tunisian capital, injuring at least nine people, the interior ministry said.
Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told AFP that all but one of the casualties were police, after a strong explosion rocked the upmarket Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis.
Ambulances arrived swiftly at the scene, which was cordoned off by security forces. Shops lowered their shutters as panic gripped passersby.
An AFP photographer saw the bomber’s body, apparently mostly intact, lying on the ground under one of the neatly-trimmed box trees that line the avenue. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
It was the first attack 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 the so-called Islamic State militant group.
Since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, militant 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 the Islamic State militant group 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.