Suicide bomber blows himself up near U.S. Embassy in Tunisia

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The FINANCIAL – A man has blown himself up near the US embassy in Tunisia leaving at least five people wounded. The attack took place in the business district of the Lac, an area in the east of Tunis. Tunisian police have cordoned off the area and a nearby school has been closed while they investigate.

A suspected suicide bomber has blown himself up outside the US embassy in Tunisia. The attacker, who was riding a moped, detonated an explosives vest after he failed to gain access to the embassy in Tunisia’s capital Tunis. Eyewitnesses saw a scorched motorbike and a damaged police vehicle a few metres from the embassy’s main gate, as a helicopter whirled overhead and large numbers of police gathered. Local media reported that five police officers were injured in the incident which also claimed the life of the attacker, Mirror reported.

Radio Mosaique reported that there may have been a second perpetrator. Sirens could be heard on the major highway linking the Lac district, where the embassy is located, with Tunis and suburbs in the north. Embassy officials confirmed the attack in a tweet on its official Twitter feed, and urged people to avoid the area, according to Daily Mail.

Emergency personnel are responding to an explosion that occurred near the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. Please avoid the area and monitor local media for updates, wrote U.S. Embassy in Tunisia.

Tunisian police have cordoned off the area and a nearby school has been closed while they investigate. Paramedics have also arrived at the scene to treat the wounded officers, said a witness in the area. The British Embassy in Tunis advised travellers in the area to “remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local security authorities,” Independent reported.

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Dramatic pictures from the scene show a cordoned off area, with what looks like debris from an explosion around it. Footage filmed outside the embassy also shows a large police presence in the area, with 12 armed officers patrolling the road. Last year, two suicide bombers blew themselves in the capital of Tunisia, with one person dead. In June 2015 30 British holidaymakers were killed during an attack in Sousse by Seifeddine Rezgui. Rezgui killed 38 people in total and Tunisian security forces shot him dead on site. The North Afircan nation has been battling militant groups operating in remote areas near the border since 2011. The main terrorist threat is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Libya-based extremists, Daily Star wrote.

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