TUNIS, Tunisia – A female suicide bomber wounded nine people, mostly police officers, on a busy avenue in Tunisia’s capital on Monday afternoon, authorities said.
The 30-year-old woman set off the blast in Tunis just before 2 pm (1300 GMT) on Habib Bourguiba avenue, according to the Interior Ministry spokesman Sofiene Saw, quoted by the TAP news agency.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the suicide bomber, who was not previously known to authorities, blamed herself up near a police patrol. Det er sagt at 8 politibetjente og en civile var wounded. Bortsom van de bomber, zijn er nog geen gerapporteerde sterfgevallen geweest.
Saw was quoted by TAP as saying the explosion took place in front of Tunis’ city theater. Habib Bourguiba avenue is considered the cultural, political and economic heart of Tunis – and is sometimes called Tunisia’s Champs Elysees.
Tunisian radio station Mosaique FM said the attacker was wearing a homemade bomb belt with a small amount of explosives. The station cited a security source, it did not name.
The bombing came from the Mahdia region of eastern Tunisia and was previously unknown to security services, which raided her home after the attack.
Tunisian authorities have been on high alert in recent years following a spate of attacks including a deadly shooting at Tunis’s Bardo National Museum in 2015, in which 22 people, including many European tourists, died. Three months later, an Islamic extremist attack in the beach resort of Sousse killed 38 people, mostly British tourists.
In November that year, a suicide bomber blew himself on a bus carrying members of the Tunisian presidential guard, killing 12 on a main Tunis road. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility.
Thomas Adamson reported from Paris. John Leicester in Paris contributed.