Tunisia News

Wanted man blows himself up after police chase

A wanted man has blown himself up following a police chase in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, officials said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said there were no casualties and that the attacker detonated his explosives in the Intilaka area in Tunisia after police opened fire late on Tuesday.

Authorities described the attacker, Aymen Smiri, as a wanted man. He was dressed in women’s clothes, witnesses said.

Reporting from Tunis, Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat said the suspect was in his early 20s and the police had followed him for hours.

“They finally surrounded him,” she said. “They say they shot him and that’s when he detonated himself.”

“The neighbourhood has been known to have young people leaving to join ISIL in other countries. There’s high unemployment and a lot of discontent in that part of the capital,” she added.

The third such incident within a week in Tunis comes months before an election and at the height of the tourism season in which Tunisia was hoping for a record number of visitors.

Two suicide bombers had blown themselves up in separate attacks on police in Tunis on Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding several other people. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or 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 El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. High unemployment has also 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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