Woman blows herself up in Tunisia, nine hurt: ministry

Woman blows herself up in Tunisia, nine hurt: ministry

A woman in her 30s blew herself up in the center of the Tunisian capital Tunis on Monday wounding nine people in what the Interior Ministry said was a “terrorist explosion”.

Witnesses described a blast on the central Habib Bourguiba avenue where police were cordoning off the area near the capital’s landmark Municipal Theatre. The ministry said eight police officers were among the wounded.

Ambulances could be heard rushing to the scene.

“I was in front of the theater and heard a huge explosion,” witness Mohamed Ekbal bin Rajib told Reuters.

Tunisia, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has improved security since a series of militant attacks targeting tourists caused the near collapse of the sector three years ago.

In 2015, 21 people were killed during a hostage siege in its national museum, the Bardo in Tunis, and a gunman killed 38 people on a resort beach.

There have been no attacks on that scale since then, but the economy has remained troubled and the authorities worry about militants who shelter in neighboring Libya.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab democracies, and the only country to throw off a long-serving autocrat during the Arab Spring popular revolts of 2011 without triggering large scale unrest or civil war.

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