Tunisia declares state of emergency after 12 dead in terror attack

Tunisia declares state of emergency after 12 dead in terror attack

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State of emergency declared after bomb kills 12 on Tunis bus in ‘act of terror

Twelve people were killed and 17 were wounded as a bomb tore through a bus carrying presidential guards in Tunisia’s capital on Tuesday in an explosion described by the president’s office as a “suicide attack,” Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The explosion, during rush hour in the city’s main avenue, was an attack, a presidential source said.

In the hours following the attacks, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency throughout the country and curfew in the capital city.

Speaking in a televised address to the nation, Essebsi said: “I want to reassure the Tunisian people that we will vanquish terrorism.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Walid Louguini told said at least 12 were killed and 16 wounded in what the government considers a “terrorist act.” Tunisian President also canceled a trip to Europe he had planned for Wednesday.

Ambulances rushed wounded from the scene and security forces closed off streets around Mohamed V Avenue, one of the major streets in the capital Tunis and where the charred wreckage of the bus lay not far from the interior ministry.

Mohamed V is a major boulevard usually packed with traffic and pedestrians, and the site of several hotels and banks.

Security sources said the guards were boarding the bus to be taken to the presidential place on the outskirts of the city when the explosion hit. One presidential source said it was likely that a bomber had detonated his explosive belt inside.

“I was on Mohamed V, just getting ready to get into my car, when there was a huge explosion. I saw the bus blow up. There were bodies and blood everywhere,” Bassem Trifi, a witness, told Reuters news agency.

The Tunisian government had tightened security following two attacks this year, with a high number of security forces visible very close to where the explosion happened.

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