Tunisia 'wanted' man blows himself up after police chase

2019-07-03 11:52
Tunisian security forces tighten security measures outside a metro station near the bus stop where a man reportedly wearing an explosive belt blew himself up in the early hours. (AFP)

Tunisian security forces tighten security measures outside a metro station near the bus stop where a man reportedly wearing an explosive belt blew himself up in the early hours. (AFP)

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Tunisian security forces have killed a man wearing an explosive belt after chasing him in the capital Tunis, an interior ministry spokesperson said early on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said there were no casualties and that the attacker detonated his explosives in the Intilaka area after being surrounded by police. Residents said they heard a loud explosion.

Police opened fire on the man, whom authorities described as a wanted man called Aymen Smiri," the spokesperson said. He was dressed in women's cloths, witnesses said.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on police in Tunis on Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding several other people. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

Tunisia has been battling armed groups operating in remote areas near the border with Algeria since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Tunisia, the birthplace of Arab Spring, has been beset with high unemployment which has stoked unrest in recent years.

Last October, a woman blew herself up in the centre of Tunis, wounding 15 people including 10 police officers in an explosion that broke a long period of calm after dozens had died in attacks in 2015.

Security has improved since authorities imposed a state of emergency in November 2015 after those attacks - one at a museum in Tunis and another on a beach in the Mediterranean seaside town of Sousse. A third attack targeted presidential guards in the capital.

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