Assaulters with knives killed an officer of the Tunisian National Guard and wounded another Sunday before three assailants were later shot in a firefight, the armed forces said, calling it a “terrorist” act.
The stabbing attack took place in the tourist district of Sousse, the coastal city hit by Tunisia’s worst jihadist attacks in recent years, when 38 people, most of them British, were killed in a beach rampage in 2015.
In the knife attack in Sousse, 140 kilometers south of the capital Tunis, a patrol was attacked by two officers of the National Guard, said the spokesman for the National Guard, Houcem Eddine Jebabli.
“One died a martyr and the other was wounded and hospitalized,” he said, adding, “this was a terrorist attack”.
The attackers rammed the gendarmes with a vehicle for the first time around 6:40 a.m. (0540 GMT).
After the knife attack, security forces followed the attackers, who took the officers’ weapons and vehicle, through the Akouda district in the city’s tourist area, El-Kantaoui, Jebabli said.
“Three terrorists were killed in a gun battle,” he said, adding that security forces “managed” to recover the car and two pistols that the attackers had stolen.
During a visit to the sealed scene of the knife attack hours later, President Kais Saied said the police were investigating whether the attack was planned “by an individual or an organization”.
British Ambassador to Tunisia Louise de Sousa tweeted that she was “appalled at the attack on a National Guard patrol in #Sousse this morning.
“My condolences to the family of the murdered officer and I wish the injured a speedy recovery. #UKsupportTunisia”
– Series of attacks –
Tunisia has been hit by a series of jihadist attacks since its 2011 Popular Revolution, killing dozens of security guards, civilians and foreign tourists.
A Tunisian policeman was killed and several others injured in a suicide attack against security guards protecting the US embassy in Tunis.
2015 was a particularly bloody year with three major fatal attacks by the Islamic state group.
21 foreign tourists and a security guard were killed in an attack on the capital’s Bardo Museum in March.
Just three months later, the 38 tourists were killed in the rampage in Sousse.
And in November of that year, a bus bomb explosion in central Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.
While the situation has improved significantly since then, Tunisia has maintained a state of emergency.
Attacks on security forces continued, mainly in remote areas along the border with Algeria.
Tunisia has been hailed as a rare success story among the 2011 Arab Spring revolts that gripped the region and toppled many autocrats, including Tunisia’s longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
However, the small Mediterranean country with around 11 million inhabitants is in an economic crisis. The official unemployment rate is 18 percent and needs new help from the International Monetary Fund.
Last week the Tunisian parliament approved a new technocratic government led by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, which is faced with the task of solving profound social and economic problems in the north African country.
The 46-year-old prime minister pledged to revitalize the economy, including the crucial tourism sector, which had recovered from the jihadist attacks but was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic this year.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)