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1 dead, several wounded in suicide bomber attacks in Tunisian capital

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on police in the Tunisian capital on Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding several other people, the government said. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, the militant group's Amaq news agency said.

ISIS claims responsibility for attacks on police, anti-terrorism agency

Police officers secure the site of a suicide bombing attack in downtown Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, on Thursday. The militant group ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attack, which came during the height of tourist season. (Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters)

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on police in the Tunisian capital on Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding several other people, the government said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, the militant group's Amaq news agency said on Thursday evening.

The attacks came months before an election and at the peak of a tourist season in which Tunisia is hoping for a record number of visitors.

The first targeted a police patrol in Charles de Gaulle Street in central Tunis. One police officer was killed and at least one other officer and three civilians were wounded, the Interior Ministry said.

Shortly afterward, a second suicide bomber blew himself up near a police station in the parking lot of the government anti-terrorism agency in al-Qarjani district. Four people were wounded, the interior ministry said.

A member of Tunisia's security forces secures the site of an explosion on Charles de Gaulle Street in downtown Tunis on Thursday. (Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters )

Heavily armed police cordoned off the sites of the attacks, one of which was about 200 metres away from the French Embassy. Reuters witnesses saw people rushing away from the scene, while the body of one suicide bomber lay on the ground.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Sofian Zaak said the attackers had not yet been identified. He called on the public to show strength and not to panic.

Military attacks since uprising

Tunisia has been battling militant groups operating in remote areas near the border with Algeria since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine 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 the capital, Tunis, wounding 15 people including 10 police officers in an explosion that broke a period of calm after dozens died in militant 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 and killed 12. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Those actions scared off holidaymakers and investors, worsening an economic crisis.

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