A woman in her 30s has reportedly blown herself up in front of a shopping centre in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, wounding nine people in what the Interior Ministry has described as a “terrorist explosion.”
A witness reported the 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.
witness Mohamed Ekbal bin Rajib told the Reuters news agency: “I was in front of the theatre and heard a huge explosion and saw people fleeing.”
Tunisia, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has ramped up security measures 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 at a beach resort.
There have been no attacks on that scale since then, but the economy has remained troubled.
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.