Twin suicide attacks rock downtown Tunis

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Two suicide blasts rocked the Tunisian capital on Thursday killing at least one police officer and wounding several people.

The first blast involved a suicide bomber who targeted a police patrol on Tunis’ central Charles de Gaulle street, not far from the French embassy.

One police officer was killed, while another was injured, according to the interior ministry. Three civilians were also wounded.

Body parts were strewn on the road around the police car, an AFP news agency correspondent reported.

A loud explosion was heard throughout the surrounding neighbourhood.

A second attacker blew himself up shortly afterwards on a base of the national guard in the capital’s al-Qarjani district, the interior ministry said. Four security personnel were wounded in that attack.

“At 11am (10:00 GMT) an individual blew himself up outside the back door” of the base, interior ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told AFP.

No immediate claim of responsibility was made for either blast.

Rare attacks

Massinissa Benlakehal, a local journalist, told Al Jazeera from Tunis the blast on Charles de Gaulle street took place just 15 metres away from the French embassy.

Benlakehal said such incidents in Tunis have been relatively rare in recent years with “the usual issues that Tunisia has with terrorism [occurring] away from the capital”.

Thursday’s violence came four years after scores of people were killed in a spate of attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

Two of the attacks targeted tourists – one at a museum in Tunis and another on a beach in Sousse – while a third was on presidential guards in the capital.

In February, a Tunisian courtsentenced seven people to life in prison over the museum and beach incidents.

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